Looking back on myself ten or twelve years ago, I wonder what my past self would have thought if I knew some of the things I value now in my life. One in particular is maintaining a clean living place. I know for a fact I am able to work harder and more effectively as I keep the things around me clean and organized. I know the habits I have developed come mostly from the persuasion, perseverance and diligence of my Mom. Just about every Saturday growing up, before we were allowed to do any other activities, my Mom would give each of us some chores we had to do. While it is something I value now, it often seemed more of punishment growing up and nearly impossible to get everything done in one day. Now, I think I could have gotten many of the things done in 30 minutes if I had really just started working on it. As it was, it usually ended up taking me all of the morning and most of the afternoon as I would drag my feet with everything I did. I very much appreciate my mother having the patience and dedication to help instill in us these habits. I am sure it would have been easier for my mom to just do everything herself, but because of her taking time to do the extra work, I have found the value of working.
I have found with many things in life, we seldom value things as much as when we have taken the time to work for them. Learning to develop a habit of working is vital to us finding lasting satisfaction, joy and peace in this life. In a recent conference address, Elder Christofferson talked about the value we can find in our own lives from work – “Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and God.” I know many times we think how nice it would be if we could just spend a day doing nothing. But take some time to remember how you feel on those days. As we take time to do nothing, many times we feel like nothings. As we learn to work, we learn to achieve, and as we achieve we can find value in our lives.
With work, I am reminded of the Seven Dwarfs from the Disney Classic Snow White. As they work, they sing this song;