Cultivating Emotional Intelligence

Our Search for Meaningful Work

By George Marino, CPC, CMMT May 3, 2022

This poem is my interpretation of a Rumi poem called “One-Handed Basket Weaving” and our search for meaningful work.

One-Handed Accounting

I’ve said before that every professional

searches for what’s not there

to practice their skills.

A dentist looks for a beautiful smile

where the tooth caved in. A waiter

picks the empty glass. A doctor

stops and brings your health.

Accountants move toward some semblance

of emptiness, which they then

start to fill. Their hope, though,

is beyond balancing the books, so don’t think

you must avoid it. It contains

what you need! Dear accountant, if you were not friends

with the vast nothing inside,

why would you always be casting your net

into it and waiting so mindfully?

This invisible ocean of a T account has given you such abundance,

but still you call it “death,”

that which provides wisdom and work.


Search for meaningful work

We call it “death” because it is shocking, uncomfortable, and takes us out of our comfort zones. This is precisely where we need to go. When we step into this unknown, we experience fear and frustration, but gradually—and sometimes suddenly—those emotions will transform into hope and joy.

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