I recently visited the hallowed ground of Gettysburg to sustain my lifelong interest in the Civil War, and that historic battle in particular. My wife Judy accompanied me. While my spouse doesn’t share my passion for the tactics of the battle, she thrives on the human interest angle––hearing personal stories of the soldiers and citizens who participated in that critical turning point of the Civil War. In fact, Judy suggested the trip.
To get the most out of our visit I suggested that we hire a licensed guide to tour the battlefield with us and interpret the 3-day conflict. His name was Bruce and he inspired us.
Historical perspective aside, the lasting impression I will have from the two hours we spent with our veteran guide was the intensity he brought to his assignment. Nearly every day of the year, for countless groups and individuals, this man delivers an historic account of the battle. You could argue that this daily grind could become somewhat of a routine. After all, he’s been doing it for almost ten years. But Bruce made us feel like he had something significant to share and that we were an equally special audience. He was passionate and he was patient. He listened well and made us feel important. This guy loved his job.
For Judy he brought clarity to three profound days in July, 1863. For me, he ignited a fire. Heading home, I found myself thinking again about the enthusiasm our tour guide displayed for his craft. It made me think about my own career, and how grateful I am that I love what I do. I’m equally indebted to our FVM employees––abundantly talented people who could easily go through the motions but instead, like Bruce, bring passion and zeal to every assignment, regardless of size or scope. Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” That sentiment rings true on a 150 year-old battlefield and still resonates every day back in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.