A man came across three masons who were chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. The first seemed unhappy with his job and as he chipped, he glanced frequently at his watch. When the man asked him what he was doing, he responded rather curtly, ‘I’m hammering this stupid rock, and I can’t wait till five, when I can go home.’
The second mason, seemingly more interested in his work, was hammering diligently. When asked what it was that he was doing, answered, ‘Well, I’m shaping this block of rock so that it can be used with others to construct a wall. It’s not bad work, but I’ll sure be glad when it’s done.’
The third mason was hammering at his block fervently, taking time to stand back and admire his work. He chipped off small pieces until he was satisfied that it was the best he could do. When he was questioned about his work, he stopped, gazed skyward and proudly proclaimed, ‘I…am building a cathedral!’ Three men, three different attitudes; all doing the same job.
Message: The higher the purpose of life, the greater is the happiness of doing a work.
Source: “Mastering Essay & Answer Writing for UPSC Civil Services IAS/ IPS & State PSC Main Exam” by Dr Awdhesh Singh, available at