Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Work Worth Doing"

The importance of having a job was underlined by a front page article in today's New York Times titled, "Poll Reveals Depth and Trauma of Joblessness in U.S." This article explores the effects of joblessness on workers and their families. Here are some of the horrible effects and the percentage reporting them: emotional trauma (48%), trouble sleeping (55%), children's lives changing (56%), cutting back on medical care (54%), taking money from savings and retirement accounts (60%).

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Losing a job means more than losing one's livelihood-- it also can mean a loss of meaning, purpose and sense of self-worth.

Work has a spiritual dimension as well. Good, honest work not only feeds the body, but also feeds the soul. Soulless work is doing something that is drudgery. Soulful work is doing something that is fulfilling, "work worth doing" as Roosevelt put it.

When you don't have a job, your work is to look for one. Conducting a successful job search is a full time job in itself. Finding a new job in this "jobless recovery" is very difficult. However, a job search is definitely "work worth doing."

One more idea on the spiritual dimension of work. Volunteering doesn't bring you a paycheck, but can be spiritually rewarding. A saying attributed to Winston Churchill confirms this, "You make a living by what you earn; you make a life by what you give." Giving our time and talents in the service of others can surely help us "make a life."

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