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Thoughts on the Significance of Vacation




I took some vacation time to visit Monument Valley. After driving about 9 hours through the wilderness from Los Angeles, we could see huge rock formations towering over their surroundings, like elephants seen from a distance. With these formations scattered through a landscape that looked like scorched sand, it felt as if we were walking on the surface of Mars.


It’s often said that you get a sense of your own insignificance when you place yourself in the vastness of nature. I do indeed get a sense of how small my own existence is to the majestic power of nature, but then again, my existence is small in the context of a city as well.


There are companies in the world that have tens of thousands of employees, and there are many well-respected and charismatic corporate leaders. Then there are much smaller companies, like my accounting firm numbering just under 20. Most people in the world don’t know about us, and we don’t exert any major influence. Still, we have staff members, and they support their families in turn. The leader of the organization, no matter how small it may be and no matter how insignificant his existence, is nevertheless in a position that requires him to consider the development and happiness of the staff as he works alongside them, and to work as hard as possible for their benefit.


I have long felt myself to be a small person, without having to contrast myself with the vastness of nature. But regardless of how limited a manager’s capacity may be or how small the company is, the duty of the manager is to strive continuously and dedicatedly on behalf of the staff and their families.


Every day is a series of judgments and decisions, which can be exhausting at times. And it is also good to get out into the wider world for the sake of broader insight; taking in scenes and vistas that differ from one’s usual routine moves the heart and mind. But as enjoyable as the scenery may be, it serves to remind me of the even greater importance while I’m away of whether the staff working in my absence are aware of the significance of their labors, whether they are developing their talents, and whether they are happy.


After a few days away from work, I began to feel a restless need to go back to it. I ended my brief vacation, the first one in quite a while, with a sense of gratitude to the people who were doing their jobs without me. I felt sincerely thankful for our staff, for our customers, for my family... for everything.


It’s a wonderful thing to have a job worth doing, and I’m grateful that I genuinely enjoy my work.