You are building cathedrals

Advice Column
A man walked along a dusty construction site and saw three rugged men who were all laboring hard at the same task. Sweat dripped from their foreheads and soaked into their shirts while they toiled in the heat.

As he came to the first, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The man replied, “I’m laying bricks.”

He continued to the second and posed the same question, “What are you doing?

I’m constructing a wall,” the man answered.

When he reached the third worker, he again asked, “What are you doing?

The last man gestured up toward the sky and declared, “I’m building a magnificent cathedral!
Hello Friend,

When we were kids, my dad sat my sister, brother, and me down by the fireplace in our family room and told us that story to teach us that the frame we choose matters.

In the vignette, all three men were doing the same physical work. And they were, in fact, all building a magnificent cathedral. But each successive man had a broader context for what he was doing.

Many times, I forget I can choose how I view something.

For example, I could look at what I’m doing at this moment as simply writing a newsletter, or I can see it as endeavoring to influence your life in a positive way. That choice then affects my motivation and sense of purpose.

For a busy mom or dad, taking the kids to after-school activities can be seen as another daily chore of driving from Point A to Point B, or it might be viewed as an investment in raising well-rounded kids.

My question for you and for myself is if we can be intentional about the frames we choose. Can we think about how we are “holding” a particular situation? Is there a place where opening our aperture and viewing a broader context could enrich our experience?

You are creating magnificent cathedrals in your life, and I hope you get to have the satisfaction of seeing your effort in that light.

With love,


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *