There is a very special movie that I watch whenever I need spiritual encouragement, academic inspiration, or just a plain kick in the pants to not wallow in self-pity, It's called " The Great Debaters", directed by Denzel Washington. The movie is about young African American college students in a southern college during the depression era. These young students, all brilliant, made up the Wiley College debate team; the first African American team to not only debate Harvard University but to also defeat them. Forrest Whitaker played Dr. James Farmer, one of the first African Americans to receive a Phd. In the movie Dr. Farmer gives a speech in which he mentioned these words " We do what we have to do, in order to do what we want to do".
"We do what we have to do in order to do what we want to do"....I have pondered on these words and last night I was sitting outside by the canal thinking "what does that all mean?" For me it means two things.
First, of course, I think about responsibility. In order for one to receive the fruits of labor, or any fruits at all, one must put in the time to do the things that one may not really want to do. Studying, working, "paying your dues". Work must come before pleasure.
In my second interpretation I thought about tenacity and perseverance. "We do what we have to do" meaning we will do whatever it takes in order to get to a point where we are doing what we want to do. This focus is more on pleasure. Work is a means to an end, but not the end itself. I know me, when I really want to do something, I will move mountains if need be just to get to that point.
The reason why this is so important to me is because I have been seeing alot of my brothers and sisters working in jobs that they hate. Struggling for the almighty dollar only at the end of the day to feel defeated, broke, without a vision, without a clear sense of what they want. But they do know this...they hate their work. So I challenge them and myself in this....the goal, is to get to a point where you are doing what YOU want to do; and in order to get there we MUST do what we have to do...there is no way around it, but the reward is so great. This is what we pass on to our children, a vision, a hope to move forward into living your life's work, not living your life to work.