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The Concept Of Work Essay, Research Paper

The Concept of Work

It is a wonderful thing to live in America. We are free! Free to rise above

the economic status of our parents, to get an education, and to be whatever we want to

be. From birth we are promised the right to pursue happiness (i.e. money). Our parents

try to provide us with opportunities that they did not have so that we can be happier (i.e.

have more money) than them.

Children go to school to get the skills that they will need to join the adult world, the

working world. Work is the foundation of America. Everyone does it. Those who don t

sleep in cardboard boxes at night.

Work is mandatory and necessary. If you want to eat, you must work. We cannot

escape it so we make it sound nicer than it actually is. Little children are told that they can

be whatever they want when they grow up as long as they work hard. They can choose a

job that they like, a job that is interesting, challenging and fun.

Unfortunately none of that is true. We are not all born financially or intellectually

equal. We are not all born to good parents. Little Bobby the crack baby was born to a

bitter teenage dropout who will beat him until he is bigger than her. She will never

encourage him to get schooling beyond the ninth grade. She will never teach him that

there is more to life than getting drunk in their small logging town. Bobby was simply not

born with the same opportunities as Suzy, a healthy child born to a responsible, loving

mother who started a college fund right away and will support and encourage her

daughter. Bobby simply had too much to overcome.

The concept of working, which is selling your time and effort, is so ingrained into

American culture and society that we rarely, if ever, question it. Work is quite simply a

method of training people to relinquish their freedom and submit to hierarchy.

Anyone who says these people [Americans] are free is either lying or stupid.

-Bob Black, freelance writer.

You are free to chose not to work. Of course, for most of us that means a life of

homelessness. Is it really freedom to be required to sell our time and effort to provide

ourselves with the necessities of life? If one wants to live a healthy life and support their

family, he or she must get a job and work.

Once someone has a job, they are required to work the hours that their boss

needs them to work under the threat of loosing the job. In effect, their lives are dictated

by those hours. A person must make decisions as to what they can and can not do based

on the hours that they have to work. Not only that, but un-paid hours outside of work are

dedicated to work as well.

In his essay The Abolition of Work , Bob Black explains that the only free

thing about free time is that it doesn t cost the boss anything. The majority of it is spent

. . .getting ready for work, going to work, returning from work, and recovering from

work. Also take into account all of the time spent thinking of tasks waiting to be

completed at work, worrying about work, and even dreaming about work.

Of course, this would be fine if everyone could get a job doing something that they

loved. Unfortunately that just isn t, and could never be, a reality. Think of all of the

people that you know that are dissatisfied with their jobs. A job is a big part of a person s

life- disliking it can lower overall happiness. But remember, in America we are only free

to pursue happiness, not to choose the method of pursuit.


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