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Monday, February 10, 2014

Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad.PNG"I don't like work — no man does — but I like what is in work: the chance to find yourself."

Polish Novelist
1857 - 1924

Unlike Conrad, I do like to work.  I find that if I don't work I become bored and more tired than when I work.  Although, I do from time to time find myself procrastinating, particularly with creative work.  The creative side of me doesn't want to sit down and do the work.  But I strongly agree with the second half of the quote.  Work does give me a chance to explore who I am as an artist and writer.  Work helps me to understand myself better and to appreciate my talents and gifts.  Work also challenges me and pushes me to go farther than I thought possible.

I believe we ought to celebrate work.  All work is honorable if approached with the right attitude.  Housework and housekeeping is very important work.  So is child-rearing.  Raising and educating the next generation is probably the most important work of all.  I am in awe of people who are knowledgeable about the work they do.  When I meet a sales clerk in a store who knows his product, I compliment him.  I love to listen to the sales pitch of great sales people.  Sometimes I buy and sometimes I don't, but I enjoy the ride.  I celebrate people who work their hands — carpenters, farmers, mechanics.  I am not good with my hands because I am too slow.  Some people have the gift for gab.  I have heard some fantastic speakers in my life.  Work for me is both an art and a skill.

Do you love the work you do?  Do you have fun working?  Are you proud of what you do?  Are you happy working?  Or are you always dreaming about some future job.  Be where you are now.  The future will come when it is ready.

The work that creative leaders do should also be celebrated.  Sometimes people don't understand the creative process and so they don't appreciate the working habits of artists and writers.  Painting, sculpting and writing are not 9 to 5 jobs.  You may work for an hour here and an hour there, but your mind is always working both consciously and unconsciously.  In fact, the unconscious work for a creative leader is probably the most important work and the most difficult.  So celebrate and appreciate the work you do.

Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was born to Apollo Korzeniowski and Eva Bobrowska.  His father was a writer, translator and political activist.  He was born in a part of modern Ukraine which was a part of the Kingdom of Poland.  His family moved often because of his father's political activism.  His father was imprisoned in the Warsaw Citadel.  His mother died when he was seven and his father when he was eleven.  He was placed in the care of his mother's brother.  Jozef showed little interest in school and excelled only in geography.  At thirteen, he wanted to be a sailor.  He joined the French Merchant Marines at seventeen and spent 19 years as a sailor in both the French and British Merchant Marines.

Konrad gave up the sea at the age of 36 because of poor health and a fascination with writing.  His first novel was published in 1895 under the name of Joseph Conrad.  He wrote in English, his adopted language.  He spoke Polish and French fluently from childhood.  He only learned English in his twenties.  He called English "the speech of my secret choice, of my future, of long friendships, of the deepest affections ... of my very dreams."  He wrote twenty novels.

Here is a short biography of Joseph Conrad.