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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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