I all of these stories and analogies we still have to come back to discernment. We have to assess our own experiences and capacities to endure.
Feeling a sense of purpose is much deeper than simply feeling a sense of purpose. I am currently an elementary school teacher and all day long people remind each other of the purpose, the greater good, etc.
Still, I have the responsibility to check in with "myself", and "my" own nervous system, to see if this is working at a fundamental level of health (and certainly not merely in the intellectual and conceptual level).
How does this feel to me day in and day out? Am I nourished, am I healing and growing in a positive direction? I have to develop the capacity to both feel and understand these factors in my life.
Nothing works, or is better, because someone tells us it is so, or believes it to be so. We must understand clearly for ourselves.
Maybe the discontented mason is a budding pianist or painter, maybe accounting is for him. Either way his discontentment is a sign, and with awareness and a path towards understanding he can find his way. But he should not be made as a poor example of how to be because he too is on a journey.
On Nov 14, 2022David Doane wrote :
In the essay, the first stonemason, in response to whether he likes his job, is critical of his job and says "it's a job. It pays the bills." I think his discontentment is a sign that he doesn't like his job and his purpose in doing it doesn't result in his liking it. My conclusion is he doesn't like the way he's engaged in and he could find another way. I see him being used as an example of someone who has a purpose in working that doesn't result in his loving his work. More importantly, from what I know, being a teacher is very stressful these days, and your many 'have to's' make it worse. I hope your discerning results in your doing what is best for you.