Friday, June 23, 2006


emolument \ih-MOL-yuh-muhnt\, noun: The wages or perquisites arising from office, employment, or labor; gain; compensation.

Ah, the wonders of, which gives me food for thought and fodder for writing. Sometimes a simple definition can be the jumper-cables for a fatigued writing battery. Sometimes not.

Recently, emolument was the word of the day, and it informs the feeling that another work-week is over and a paycheck is in the bank, thankfully enough. Like many people in these post-modern times, however, payday now comes every two weeks rather than every Friday so that 50% of all weeks end without that gratifying sense of renumeration which concretely rewards one's labors of the previous five days. That paycheck, whether weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, is a physical manifestation of the consistent exercise of one's powers to move and produce in the world. Taking into consideration the fact that there are many people who lack the opportunity (or physical or mental health) to achieve such an accomplishment, the salaried among us must periodically count our blessings that we are granted the luxury and priviledge of earning a living. More than anyone else, I remind myself of this fact as I recover from a busy week and reflect on my Friday evening fatigue.

The gratification of being paid relatively well for work which feels honest and worthwhile is indeed a priviledge whose potential transcience is important to remain aware of. That paycheck deposited in my bank account is a manifestation of the energy which I expend in the world through service to others. While it is not the soul reason for being the professional that I am, it's a certainty that supporting my family has been a driving force behind my professional aspirations and accomplishments. I do not take for granted the opportunity which my relative health and ability have afforded me, and I am grateful for my work, my patients, and the dollars and cents which sustain my own financial solvency. As the saying goes, money isn't everything, but it sure helps.

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