From our old friend Margaret Silf:
During the Middle Ages, a traveller once came upon a place in France where a great deal of building work was going on. He began to talk with the stone cutters and asking them about their work.
He approached the first worker and asked, “What are you doing?” The man, very disgruntled and obviously unhappy in his hard toil, replied, “I’m cutting these huge boulders with the simplest of tools and putting them together in the way I’ve been told to do. I’m sweating in this heat and my back is hurting. What’s more, I’m totally bored and I wish I didn’t have to do this hard and meaningless job.”
The traveller moved on quickly to interview a second worker. He asked the same question: “What are you doing?” The worker replied, “Well, I have a wife and children at home, so I come here every morning and I work these boulders into regular shapes, as I’m told to do. It gets repetitive sometimes, but it helps to feed my family and that’s all I want.”
Somewhat encouraged, the traveller went on to a third worker and asked, “And what are you doing?”
The third worker responded with shining eyes, as he pointed up to the heavens, “I’m building a cathedral!”