“Mister, neither would I.”

Hey guys,

Someone sent this to me and I thought it might encourage you today.

One day while Mother Theresa was changing the dressing on a man’s wound, another man watching said, “I wouldn’t do your job for all the money in the world.” She replied, “Mister, neither would I.”

During this Labor Day season ask yourself, “Why do I do what I do?” Many people are trying to pursue other jobs, but perhaps all they need is to change the reason or remind themselves why they are performing their present one. One day a man came to me saying he needed to lose weight, had tried every option, but was unsuccessful. Then his daughter’s kidney failed. His family had searched the country for a transplant match, until finally, the doctors found one, him! But the doctors said, “We will not take your kidney and place it in your daughter until you lose weight.” In six months the man lost 101 pounds. Most people who diet forget the reason they are dieting; the reward is to achieve health for themselves and their family. In fact, most people gain weight on a diet because, when they weigh in and find they have lost weight, they celebrate by overeating. They do not keep the “why” in front of them.

There are different motivators out there: competing, keeping score with numbers or money, proving you are better than someone, achieving revenge for someone not giving you a job or service, making a difference, being a blessing to others. When your reason is focused on one of the higher values, the other higher values come with it. For example, if you are focused on service as a motivator, with it comes a sense of well-being, helping others, peace and fulfillment. But when you are focused on competition, a focus which many firms are set up to have, with it will eventually come a sense of inequality; enough is never enough; stress and probably high blood pressure. This set of circumstance is an area to think about and stay conscious of.

There have not been many performances like the University of Alabama football team in the National Championship 2012 game against LSU. It is important to examine the reason for the performance, especially since Alabama lost to LSU the first time they played them in the fall. Then Alabama played very competitively, trying to prove to everybody that they were better, but losing that effort. However, the motivation was different in the second game, titled “The Set Up,” where Alabama planned to show the world that they were servants and had no dislike for LSU. We talked about feeling the pain of the first loss, really feeling it by remembering the broken hearts of our teammates. Then we said, “Let’s focus and prepare so we do not have to experience looking across the room at a teammate with a broken heart again.” The Alabama team remembered the devastating tornadoes and their declaring, “Let us be a blessing to others.” Such thinking was a motivator not only arranged with the higher values, but one that led to a performance almost unparalleled.

Ask yourself, “how can I take this job and be a blessing to others?” How can I serve and help someone keep from an unhealthy, unfortunate and uncomfortable consequence down the road? How can I, with this job, be my brother’s or my sister’s keeper?

When you arrange your job around service, the higher values connect with service and you will experience higher value as well. You may even find yourself doing jobs that others would never touch – and doing them joyfully. You will learn what many these days have not: that few things are as gratifying as meaningful work, that faith without works is dead. And then when the perplexed come up and say to you, “I would not do what you do for all the money in the world,” have your answer ready: “Mister, neither would I.”


  1. Becky Downs says:

    One of my favorites so far!!! Becky

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