Sunday, July 14, 2013

More About Work

Not everyone gets to work at a job they love. I wonder sometimes if the vast, overwhelming number of people actually actively hate their jobs.

I think the world would be a better place if everyone loved their job, but that's sort of like wishing that diseases didn't exist. It's a nice sentiment, but it's not gonna happen.

Disliking or actively hating a job can damage a lot of stuff. There's that sense of time being wasted or lost, and we all have limited time, whether we like to think about that or not. Because most of us need to eat and like to have a roof over our heads and electricity and telephones and stuff, we're forced to endure the unpleasantness of work. Even really good, fun jobs can be boring or stressful at times. Unless you're independently wealthy, you just gotta power through.

That stuff is not that big a deal, and it's certainly not a revelation. Everyone pretty well does that every day without needing someone to remind them.

What I have been thinking about lately is how hatred of a job, of some aspect of a job, can twist and scar morality and spirituality. You may consider yourself a kind person, but be rude to someone who doesn't deserve it because the person before irritated you. You may consider yourself honest, but lie (or stretch the truth) to get out of doing something. Maybe, over time, core values get so worn away that the kindness that was once all yours to claim divorces you and moves away and you become bitter. The job did it to you.

Or did you do it to yourself?

I think I'm going to pay special attention at work today, to see if I'm upholding my work ethic, and to make sure I'm being myself, the self I want to be. I don't hate my job, but I certainly don't love it (though most of my coworkers and customers are great.) Sometimes it's stressful or boring (or both ... it's a bit mind-bending but it does happen) and because I'm there for such a great proportion of my overall waking time, I know my work shapes me. I think it's a good idea to periodically check and make sure that any changes are changes I want to see in myself.

And if I really want to be proactive, maybe I should think about ways I can change my work, or my attitude toward my work, to make sure I behave the way I want to be. In the end, I can't really blame my work for turning me into something I don't like. I'm the one living my life. My work isn't living my life for me. It can't. It's inanimate, unless I animate it. I have the power to work in a way that reflects my ethics, morality, spirituality, and creativity.  I may not choose when to work or what my work is, but I choose how to work, and how I work is what builds my character and shapes my soul. I choose.

I choose.


Anonymous said...

good post.
In the way that life experiences contribute to building a person, I think work - and attitude towards it - is capable of changing someone from the inside out.
I'm no stranger to bitterness. It does fade with the attainment of better ways of living. In the meantime, how much less effective a person can be while spending energy on helpless anger?


Kami said...

Spending energy on helpless anger–Yes, this.

A friend likes to say that thinking about someone (or something) that you hate all the time is like giving them rent-free space in your brain. Why would you want to do that?

But everyone does. Hopefully awareness combined with a strong desire to work to be the person we want to be inside and out can offset the pent-up anger people have for being forced to work at jobs that aggravate and demean them.