The Meaning of Work

At the beginning of the film you probably noticed a quote from the Buddha.

Your work is to discover your work
And then with all your heart
To give yourself to it.“

 During the entire two years of working on this film, I had this quote tacked on my wall. It seemed entirely fitting given Sean’s journey was a journey of the heart. After high school, Sean found himself at a crossroads. He could have chosen a career based on the goals of security and stability. But instead, he chose to follow his heart, even in the face of the unknown, even when people doubted him. Even when he didn’t know where he would sleep or how he would eat or what jobs he would attempt. But Sean decided that his work was to discover his work.

In the same way, this film has been a journey of my own heart. It was my heart which told me to leave my old job and join Sean on his quest, it was my heart which kept me up at two O’clock in the morning editing just one more frame before going to bed and doing it again the next day. And it was my heart that told me that this endeavor had meaning.

It was during one of my late night editing sessions that I realized the true relationship between work and fun. The older generation tends to characterize the younger generation as unproductive, entitled and often lazy. They believe the younger generation thinks work should always be fun. As Sean and I learned during the One Week Job project, there’s no job that is fun all the time. But that is if you define fun as the absence of work. The truth is, I believe, the younger generation is actually searching for meaning. Give them a task with meaning and they will work their hearts out. And so our task as parents, as educators and employers is to show them what it’s like to live with passion. Rather than expect graduates to accept jobs without meaning, let us strive to create a world where all jobs are meaningful.  

~ Ian McKenzie