In my last all-hands meeting at Walmart, I heard one of the most eloquent and genuine “talks” ever by an executive. I will spare my limited readership of the details, but I wanted to share one quote that really resonated with me:
A man who was reflecting upon his life and asked his mentor, ‘What is the biggest burden that any person can take?’
His mentored thought about it carefully and responded, ‘The biggest burden comes when there is no burden to carry.’
There have been many moments in my life where I have felt overcome by burden, obligation, or duty. Family, friends, or even work have all once disproportionately dominated an extended period of my life. So quite naturally, I’ve set out to find a way in which I can cast all of my burdens aside. In a biblical sense, I know that it is written: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” However, the verse implies that not everyone is weary and burdened from life. The question is not how we can deal with the burdens, but rather, what burdens can we take on in a way that it becomes manageable? And as the quote above suggests, those who do not have a burden will seek to find a calling, a purpose– and that, above all, will be the heaviest burden.
I don’t really have time to tie everything together into a closing thought, but I think the quote really gets me to think about burdens (and purpose) and little differently.