In most cultures men/women can choose their career … be it an architect, lawyer, doctor, policeman or whatever.
In Sparta there was no choice in the matter. As a newborn son, if you survived the scrutiny of the magistrates and were deemed fit, your only job for the rest of your life was to serve in the military.
If you were judged physically unfit, you were taken to the wild gorge at Mount Taygetos, and left for the wolves. Your mother did not weep nor protest.
This concept of ‘you only have one job’ resonates with me.
Our ‘one job’ is to sort out our soul so that we can give up our lives with grace and gratitude when we’re called to Eden again.
After that, being a fireman, nurse, lawyer, CEO or banker is all a bit of a sideshow.
The only purpose of the work you and I do right now is to polish our intent so that we can become humans of moral character and fulfil our promise. Oh, and of course be in awe and gratitude to our creator for allowing us to play for a little while.
In Sparta there were still artists, writers, architects, builders and the like. Those, however, were just secondary jobs and bonuses.
Their real job was to protect Sparta and its citizens.
Spartans were 100% dedicated to this goal. A Spartan mother handed her son his shield as he prepared to march off to battle. She said, “Come back with this or on it.”
Seeking connection with our creator is the only worthwhile pursuit there is. That we create great art in the work we do is an bonus and a blessing.
Being able to meet our creator at anytime with grace is the only real freedom we have. If we haven’t come to terms with coming back on our shield at a second’s notice, we’re not free.
The Spartans were free. Are you?