The sun dips low in the sky and shines on the statue of the lobsterman on Bailey Island. He’s always at work, putting in an honest day’s labor in his trade. The comings and goings of the rest of mankind are of no concern to him, and he does not read the local headlines. His most important concern is the tide. He knows the secret of following natural laws.
The sun beats down on him in the summer. The rains pour on him in the spring and fall. The snow engulfs him in the winter. Still, he keeps vigil at Land’s End because he has that quality we call temperance. No, not the temperance that refers to abstinence from alcohol, but the temperance that refers to self restraint and moderation. He does not give in to his appetites and desires. He does not fall prey to the latest shocking headlines in the newspaper. He acts; he does not react. He is concerned with the tides of the ocean, not the fickle tides of the politics of man.
He works without lust of result. That a hard worker obtains results is certain. That he craves them for their own sake without care of how they are accomplished is foolish, and this lobsterman is not foolish. He works for the sake of work itself because it is a part of him, and for that he is rewarded with peace and freedom.
Freedom is not the ability to go where one wants, but the ability to work as one chooses. We all must work. There is freedom in the peace of choosing our own labor and reaping our own rewards, in owning and shaping our personal destiny.