The term "human resources" should bring to mind much more than procedural manuals and hiring processes. It should remind us that we each posses unique gifts that can be offered to other human beings, things such as humor, empathy, and listening skills. What can you give to others today?

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13 NIV

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 ESV

Has the term human resources ever struck you as a bit insulting? Those words seem to imply that people are nothing more than material meant to be mined for profit by corporations, and such an implication is disheartening. If we are nothing more than tools used to build money pyramids for the rich, then how is it possible to feel good about the work we do?

When you first trained for your professional life—whether that training was in high school, at a technical college, or at a university—you probably had one or two specific focuses. However, when you got knee-deep in the daily grind of the real world, you probably discovered that companies will use workers as they please. Job titles quickly become flexible frameworks as new needs arise at a company, and all tasks are fair game no matter what a person insists his or her “specialty” is.

So, if we are all generalists serving the profit-driven whims of employers, then how can we still have a meaningful professional life? The answer to that question resides in helping other people. Despite any troubling corporate picture that we may be a part of, we can still have a worthwhile, individual professional life by meaningfully connecting with others. Helping others is how we are able to avoid feeling one dimensional and empty at even the most discouraging of jobs, and nurturing a human connection at work is the simplest solution to any quandary involving our fears of becoming nothing more than corporate resources.

Here is an alternative way to look at the term human resources as it applies to your role in the workplace. You possess unique resources that are truly human. You possess gifts of empathy, laughter, guidance, and perspective that you can offer to those around you each day. Most everyone goes into the workday fighting through personal problems they don’t talk much about, so try to imagine those silent struggles and let the resulting perspective be a true resource for the people around you.

We each have unique talents that are meant for something much more meaningful than simply improving a company’s bottom line. When we resolve to find a way—no matter how small—to help other people in the course of our workdays, then we are able to take possession of our talents and feel wholly alive. Today, make it your mission to find creative ways to offer your truly human resources to the people you encounter.

Prayer: Dear God, I know that You have given me wonderful gifts that can be used for much more than simply making money. Please allow me to use those unique parts of me to make the world a better place for people each day.

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Michael S. Priebe, Lovely Grind author & web creator

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