To Earn a Living Is to Work Lively
In Good Man Wang's childhood, he was quiet and seldom talked. He handled situations with caution and seriousness. Usually he favored contemplation; he would think over whatever had puzzled him and thoroughly investigate it until he obtained a result.
One day, when he worked as a farm laborer, the employer called him for a meal, saying "The person who works, come and eat!" Upon hearing this, Good Man Wang was very upset. He wondered who had thought of such an awful name? So he kept asking Heaven day by day: "What does 'the person who works' mean?" When plowing in the field, he asked the cow, "What does 'the person who works' mean?" He kept asking over and over, and because he was so concentrated that people's voices became very low even when they talked loudly. After some ninety days, when people talked in front of him, he could only see their lips moving, but he could not hear their voices. When it came to the one hundredth day, his mind suddenly cleared up and he understood.
When a person works, he must put life in his job, and not work a job to death. Because the employer has a person who works for him, the vegetables and crops in the fields can grow and the whole family can survive. As for the worker, because he got this job, he can earn some money to sustain the dependent in his family. What's more, if a crisis arises, the employer will surely help him, and may give him a special allowance. If he strives to do everything well for the employer, it enable his own family to live on and the crisis can be resolved.
This is the relationship called, "the employer is humane, and the employee is righteous." Boss and employee in this way are like close kin and good friends who have same hearts and the same virtue. They care for each other and help each other out; this is what we mean by "to work lively." Ordinary people while they are working, find fault with this and that. They nitpick that the food is not tasty or criticize things. All they are concerned about is making more money, instead of giving their best on the job. They are employer and employee, yet they behave just like strangers. This is called "burning your bridges behind you" and is the meaning of "working a job to death."
To be continued