"The people who were, so to speak, officers in the Shakers were called Elders. One of the qualifications that was looked for in a Shaker Elder was not only that he was a good worker, but that he had gained a gift in his manual labor. Now this means not only was he working well, but he was a person who, through his life of manual labor, had what they would call a special gift. Namely, something like simplicity or humility or something like that. As a result of years of careful work a man would gain a gift. You see, with some of the old brothers around the monastery, they've gained this gift; they have worked and worked and worked, they've broken rocks and taken care of bees and that sort of stuff for years and years and years, and they've gained a gift. They have got a gift of a special kind of humility that you only get from breaking rocks for years and years and years and taking care of bees for years and years. This is a special gift that goes with this kind of work, and other people don't have this gift because they have another gift from other kinds of work.

"So therefore the final point is that we should also aim to gain a gift through our work. It should be the gift appropriate to the work. If I'm a writer, I should gain the spiritual gift that goes with being a writer. If I am making fruitcakes, I should get the gift that comes from making fruitcakes. If I'm taking care of this, working in a hotel or something, there should be a gift from that. This is a very important thing because it is one of the spiritual graces of the life; it is one of the things that is really important in the life. Don't let anyone ever fool you on that."