Balancing act: Lessons in work-life balance show in many faces

Published: Tuesday, July 15 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

I visited both with my family during our vacation, and one of the many things that struck me about these incredible, mountain-sized works of art was the fact that the men who designed both sculptures made their efforts a family affair.

Gutzon Borglum is known as the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, finding the faces of four American presidents in the granite of the Black Hills. But when Borglum died in 1941, his son, Lincoln, took on his father's responsibilities.

Likewise, the Crazy Horse Memorial started as a project of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski. However, since his death in 1982, his wife (who died in May) and many of their children have continued to work on the mountain, slowly making progress on this immense monument to legendary Lakota leader Crazy Horse.

As my wife and I talked about these monuments, the sculptors and their families, she remarked that they, too, had a lesson to teach about finding balance in life. While it is safe to say that Borglum and Ziolkowski gave their lives to the monumental tasks for which they are best-known, it also appears that they found time to maintain and strengthen family ties.

If they could keep a focus on their families in such circumstances, I don't have any excuse not to do so. The next time I tell myself I'm too tired to spend quality time with my wife and children after eight hours in an air-conditioned office, I'll try to think about people who were close to their families despite spending hours handling dynamite on a mountain every day.

Work-life lessons really are all around us, whether in the faces of people we see every day, the faces of old friends with whom we are reconnecting or even stone faces carved into mountains. It's up to us to find those lessons and use them to improve our own lives.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.

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