Labor Day: The Key Is Balance

Labor Day comes just a week before the anniversary of 9/11. One legacy for those of us who have vivid memories of seeing the massive twin towers collapse into a plume of dust is a strong ever-present sense of vulnerability, offset by recognition that life is a gift that must be savored and appreciated in its smallest increments from days to hours to minutes to moments.

Thus, heightened awareness of the unavoidable risks of natural and human-caused calamities should cause us to assess more diligently and more often whether we have found the personal ingredients for happiness – in our relationships, in our work, and for many of us, in our faith.

Work is a dominant part of our lives and a major determinant of its quality.

Between the extremes of indolence and workaholism is a place described as work-life balance. For people whose careers are paramount, those who define themselves in terms of their jobs, and those who feel an especially heavy burden as providers for their families, this place is hard to find and harder to hold on to.

There’s nothing wrong with working hard, and certainly there’s nothing wrong with loving your work, unless you are neglecting duties to others, messing up important relationships, or missing opportunities to enrich your life in other ways.

In the book Living a Life That Matters, Harold Kushner points out, “I’ve never met anyone on their deathbed who said, ‘I wish I spent more time at the office.'”

The key is balance.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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