From the Publisher
Seek the Peace and Prosperity of the City in which I have placed you.
וְדִ רְ שׁוּ אֶת-שְ ׁלוֹם הָעִיר, אֲשֶ ׁר הִגְלֵיתִ י אֶתְ כֶם שָ ׁמָ ּה, וְהִתְ פַּלְלוּ בַעֲדָ הּ, אֶל-יְהוָה: כִּי בִשְ ׁלוֹמָ הּ, יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שָ ׁלוֹם ז
Young men without any physical defect, handsome showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace.
צעיר ללא כל מום גופני, כשרון מראה נאה עבור כל סוג של למידה, מעודכן היטב, מהיר להבין, כשיר לכהן בארמון המלך. דניאל
Daniel 1: 4
One of the many blessings of our country has been the diversity of strengths that our immigrant roots have brought us.Jim WalkerLast week the temperature dropped from 70 degrees to 15 in less than 12 hours, like much of Memphis my household prepared for the coming of the Christmas/Chanukah celebrations battling sinus issues. The morning of the temperature drop I let my three big dogs out, two Siberian huskies and one boxer. The boxer didn’t stay outside a moment longer than necessarily, while I couldn’t get the huskies to come back in. They were made for the cold, and because of that they find joy being out in the cold.
One of the many blessings of our country has been the diversity of strengths that our immigrant roots have brought us. The assimilation of these differences into this country, through the historic Puritan Work Ethic has been not only the key to economic success, but it has been the key to the successful blending of the diverse cultures that has made America the envy others and the place where much of the world dreams of calling home.
The Puritan Work Ethic is more commonly referred to today as the Protestant Work Ethic. In this reference it is more often discussed in purely economic terms as one of the reasons for the success of America’s entrepreneurs and the reason that small private businesses are the key to job growth. It is believed that in today’s economy that the spirit of the Protestant Work Ethics is best being lived out by these entrepreneurs and small businesses.
While the economic truth of the Protestant Work Ethic and its adaption by the many cultures that immigrate to America is important, it leaves out one of the fundamental truths that the Puritan Work Ethic gave to us. The Puritan Work Ethic looked upon every kind of work and every different skill as a God-given gift to be used for the benefit and common good of others. They were grateful for their own God-given gift and valued the work of others since everyone was simply using what God had given them. The street sweeper was just as important as the doctor in building and maintaining their community. The stewardship of the gift is what mattered most; the honor came not from gift itself but the development and working of the gift.
In the passage above from the Book of Daniel, one may think that the author was writing about the importance of education in the King’s selection for those he was calling to serve him, but in fact he was instructing the chief of his court to pick young men with an aptitude for learning and understanding. The King wanted young men who had the natural ability to manage the tremendous demands of Court and the King’s time. It was recognition by the King that a basic skill set was required for different jobs, and the key to success was finding the right person to match the skills needed for the different jobs in the Kingdom.
The City of Memphis is full of people from many different backgrounds and walks of life performing the many different jobs that make our community successful. Jim Walker
As a father of three, each of my children is different. It is not my job to change who they are, but to help them grow into all that God has called them to be, by developing and using the gifts He has given them. The City of Memphis is full of people from many different backgrounds and walks of life performing the many different jobs that make our community successful. In the New Year, if we can strive to understand the truth of the Puritan Work Ethic into our daily lives, we will have a greater appreciation of our neighbors, thinking less of our own importance and instead thanking God for the gifts and talents of our fellow citizens.