Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Nobility of Honest Work

As per Patrice Lewis in referencing an article by Thomas Sowell,
  • "It should be abundantly clear that not every job is 'meaningful.' There are toilets to be cleaned, floors to be swept, tables to be waited, dishes to be washed, beds to be made … the list of menial work is legion....

    "You see, not everyone is lucky enough to get 'meaningful' work. Rags-to-riches bootstrap stories are nice, but not common....

    "But what the elites who look down on 'meaningless' work don’t notice is the long-term effect of such employment. The ability to work hard and diligently at menial jobs sets a work ethic and a high standard that one’s children will often emulate. Those children can then seek opportunities for 'meaningful' work that had escaped the earlier generation....

    "it wasn’t important if their work had meaning, as long as their life did.

    "There is honor in honest work, and this is what men do. Men are biologically programmed to care for their wives and children. To that end, real men don’t really worry about whether their work is 'meaningful' or not – but they DO care about their ability to support their family. They care about their wife’s grateful kiss and their children’s joy at seeing daddy walk through the door at the end of the day. This is what gives their life meaning, not some nebulous 'meaningful' job title which probably has just as much grunt as glamour."
As per the Thomas Sowell article,
  • "Education' is a word that covers a lot of very different things, from vital, life-saving medical skills to frivolous courses to absolutely counterproductive courses that fill people with a sense of grievance and entitlement, without giving them either the skills to earn a living or a realistic understanding of the world required for a citizen in a free society.

  • "The lack of realism among many highly educated people has been demonstrated in many ways....

    "The dangers that a lack of realism can bring to many educated people are completely overshadowed by the dangers to a whole society created by the unrealistic views of the world promoted in many educational institutions....

    "What is 'meaningful work'?

    "The underlying notion seems to be that it is work whose performance is satisfying or enjoyable in itself. But if that is the only kind of work that people should have to do, how is garbage to be collected, bed pans emptied in hospitals or jobs with life-threatening dangers to be performed?...

    "In the real world, many things are done simply because they have to be done, not because doing them brings immediate pleasure to those who do them. Some people take justifiable pride in working to take care of their families, whether or not the work itself is great.

    "Some of our more Utopian intellectuals lament that many people work 'just for the money.' They do not like a society where A produces what B wants, simply in order that B will produce what A wants, with money being an intermediary device facilitating such exchanges.

    "Some would apparently prefer a society where all-wise elites would decide what each of us 'needs' or 'deserves.' The actual history of societies formed on that principle -- histories often stained, or even drenched, in blood -- is of little interest to those who mistake wishful thinking for idealism.

    "At the very least, many intellectuals do not want the poor or the young to have to take 'menial' jobs. But people who are paying their own money, as distinguished from the taxpayers' money, for someone to do a job are unlikely to part with hard cash unless that job actually needs doing, whether or not that job is called 'menial' by others....

    "Telling young people that some jobs are 'menial' is a huge disservice to them and to the whole society."

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