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What Matters Is What You Make

“Intellectual ‘work’ is misnamed; it is a pleasure, a dissipation, and is its own highest reward. The poorest paid architect, engineer, general, author, sculptor, painter, lecturer, advocate, legislator, actor, preacher, singer, is constructively in heaven when he is at work; and as for the magician with the fiddle-bow in his hand, who sits in the midst of a great orchestra with the ebbing and flowing tides of divine sound washing over him – why, certainly he is at work, if you wish to call it that, but lord, it’s a sarcasm just the same. The law of work does seem utterly unfair – but there it is, and nothing can change it: the higher the pay in enjoyment the worker gets out of it, the higher shall be his pay in cash also.”
― Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

“But maybe it’s the laboring that gives you shape. Might the most fulfilling times be those spent solo at your tasks, literally immersed or not, when you are able to uncover the smallest surprises and unlikely details of some process or operation that in turn exposes your proclivities and prejudices both?”
― Chang-rae Lee, On Such a Full Sea

“It [money] doesn’t have anything have anything to do with the magnificence of a person. It doesn’t. What matters is what you make. Whether it’s a cake for bingo night or a costume for a saint or a wall of water–whatever you pour into this life is what makes you rich.”
― Adriana Trigiani, Rococo

“Murderers don’t get forgiven just because we promise to be good from now on. We have to earn our way back. One hundred is the price. One hundred lives for each we took. That seems fair. That’s how we get whole again and that’s our work, from now until as long as it takes.”
― Bill Willingham, Fables, Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland