Editorial – Dec. 3, 2012


Play At Work

Jamestown Gazette Editor Walt Pickut

Sure…that’s what your boss wants to hear… “What are you doing?” she asks. “I’m playing,” you answer proudly.

If that doesn’t get you a raise, change your job. I don’t mean quit and find some new place to work, I mean change the job you have and make it into play. Every job has something you can do well, maybe better than ever or better than anybody else; something to enjoy and take pride in. After all, you won’t get paid more for hating your job.

If you can’t find the part of your job that is totally worth doing, maybe it really is time to look for something better. Mark Twain said, “What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn’t have done it.”

For your inspiration, along those lines, meet a few people in The Jamestown Gazette this week whose work is very hard, physically and mentally demanding, massively time consuming and frequently judged by other people. Yet they love their work so much, they consider it play. If they had bumper stickers, they might even say “I’d rather be doing just what I’m doing.”

They are the dancers of the Chautauqua Region Youth Ballet. Some of them spotted their dream in dance as young as four years old while others found it later. Watching them perform, though, is watching enthusiasm turned into motion, beauty and art.

Martha Graham, famed American modern dancer and choreographer, said, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”

So why be left out? In dance, as in sports, and in anything else you might do in your life, passion, or at least enthusiasm, is able to turn “I have to do it” into “I get to do it.” That principle can be applied to every part of life. When you find the part of your job that seems worth doing, it will be worth doing very well.

As you read this week’s edition of the Gazette, you’ll read more and more about the holiday season. Please let this be a festive time, not a “Gotta do it” time. Find the joy, the “merry” in Christmas, and even the play.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.