Holy in the Daily

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Warning: Your Work Can Kill Your Relationships

Is your work killing your relationships? Sometimes our values revolve around our business more than our community, yet the most important things in life can’t be bought, bargained for, or traded. Therefore, the reason we work should be to give value and meaning to the relationships we treasure.

In his book, The Reflective Life, Ken Gire retells a story from The Gospel of the Redman of an old Indian selling twenty strings of onions in the ancient market of Mexico City.

An American from Chicago came up and asked the Indian how much it would cost to buy a string of onions. The Indian replied that it would cost ten cents. The American wondered how much two strings would cost and twenty cents was the Indian’s reply. Three strings would cost thirty cents. The American then asked the price for all twenty strings to which the Indian stated that he wouldn’t sell all twenty strings.

“Why not?” said the American. “Aren’t you here to sell your onions?”

“No,” replied the Indian. “I am here to live my life. I love this market place. I love the crowds and the red serapes. I love the sunlight and the waving palmettos. I love to have Pedro and Luis come by and say: ‘Buenos dias’ . . . and talk about the babies and the crops. I love to see my friends. That is my life. For that I sit here all day and sell my twenty strings of onions. But if I sell all my onions to one customer, then is my day ended. I have lost my life that I love—and that I will not do.”

How about you? Are you living your life in such a way that relationships are valued above business? Does your work give meaning to the relationships you treasure?

In Him together, Susan Gaddis


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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. mary

    Love the story! And what a great reminder–thanks :-).

  2. Donna

    Great story and topic! I am so fortunate that I followed a path that led to becoming a photographer and that I get so much fulfillment from it. I think because I love what I do, it actually helps me to be a better friend/wife/mother — because it makes me a more whole person.
    I love giving so much, that sometimes my “business” suffers. I need to learn the balance between giving my work away, blessing others, and making a living.
    Like the Indian, though, the richness and joy I’ve both experienced and given to others is my biggest payoff.

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