Ever start the week and feel like you’re acting out a scene in the movie Groundhog Day? Some Mondays just seem like the beginning of another monotonous week – the same office, the same “to do” list, and the same challenges. Not every Monday is like this, but sometimes it’s easy to feel a bit uninspired.
When I feel like this, I try and remind myself that I’m missing the point. It’s the people that make work special, and our lives and theirs rarely stay the same. Marriages, auto repairs, graduations, relationships, deaths, hockey games, pregnancies, vacations, and haircuts – life is always moving and the more of those rote, predictable weeks we experience, the more opportuntities we get to better know our coworkers. As time passes, we become not just spectators of their lives, but important parts of them.
When asked by a religious leader of his day what the most important command in the ancient Hebrew scriptures was, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 (later known as the Shema Yisrael – to love God with all of your heart) and then he added something else,
“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NLT)
Love your neighbor as yourself. I’m not sure about you, but the neighbors I see the most of aren’t the people across the street, they are the ones across the aisle. This week there may be those moments when work is really work, and as I posted a few days ago, we can’t shirk our responsibilty to be productive. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we have opportunities to stop and listen – really listen – to our workplace neighbors who want to share a little about their lives with a friendly, encouraging coworker.
Tune in tomorrow for more thoughts on how to invest in the lives of our workplace neighbors.