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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What are your thoughts about earning a living, is there a philosophical and spiritual side to it or is it just a means to another end?
    I used to think the ultimate in life was to not work. Then it happened that I was able to do this for entire year. It got old real quick. The simple fact is humans are curious and must get their stimulation somehow, striving for something works in that regard, permanent vacation does not. So, since we must do something with an achievable end and some amount of striving involved, we might as well do it with as much
    enjoyment as possible. This is where the spiritual aspect comes in....

    We can choose the living death which is an occupation that sucks dogs balls. This occupation is usually the one people settle on to earn the cash to pay the man. It is spiritually devoid because the point of the job is striving for money which is always unfulfilling even if it seems needful.

    We can choose an occupation that provides appropriate stimulus in life, feeds our interests and just so happens to pay the bills as well.

    I'm currently in the former, earning $100k per year. Let me tell you, no amount of $$ makes up for the soul destroying experience which is purely earning money. Happily I foresaw this situation and have diligently saved, plotted and set myself up to the point where I can now retire. I will not hold another job.

    My choice is now to do what feeds my soul. While I will no longer work for others I will work long and arduous days doing what stimulates me and brings in money too. I have no intention of ever going on permanent vacation in this lifetime. Studies have shown that people who do so usually die within 5yrs. Boredom gets them in the end. Work is spiritual because it prevents the comatose existence which is the pervading thought that you are somehow redundant or useless.

    Just remember though, no-one said you had to do something that makes you want to poke your eyeballs with a fork, just to earn money.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    What way do you feel when you hear people talking about being choosey about employment, ie stating that they will not do x,y,z and I'm not talking prostitution or hit man career choices here, I'm talking I will not clean, take out trash, stack shelves for a living, when they can not afford to be choosey, ie not qualified for anything different, not willing to get qualifications for anything else?

    Philosophically I think that our present culture reveres wealth, possessing and spending wealth but there's a disconnect between that and earning it in the first place. There's still less thought about what way to earn it, ie what sort of work is good work and why, what if it is unavailable etc.

  3. #13
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    It's hard to focus on higher things when you don't have enough to eat and are constantly on the edge of eviction or whatever. So I think it is a sort of baseline.

    And a person working hard at something that they are really well-suited to do that they find fulfilling. I think there is something (spiritual?) to that. Some would call it "flow" perhaps?
    This. I think for some it's a means to an end- Some more tolerable than others. And for others it's more spiritual, philosophical, or even emotional. I used to do something I loved for work but I stopped and just do it for fun/as needed now because I didn't make enough money doing it. I also always wish I were more talented in the arts. I would love to do that for work.

  4. #14
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Sometimes I feel like I wasn't made for the work world. I enjoy the idea behind my job but with every job I've ever had, I've had to deal with bureaucracy, difficult co-workers, difficult customers, and a sense of inadequacy.

    I sometimes wish I didn't have to work at all. But then I'd feel guilty if I just sat on my ass all day without contributing anything meaningful to society.
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  5. #15
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    You hear a lot about how work should be fulfilling and how, if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life, etc. That strikes me as kind of stupid and middle-classy self-help book crap. There are just too many things that need doing in any community that really almost cannot be fulfilling in and of themselves.
    It doesn't have to be that way. I see a number of people who are above doing particular kinds of work. Usually they are unemployed. Any kind of productive work can be fulfilling. When I was in college, part of my first job was mopping floors. I enjoyed that. I took some pride in doing it well and also worked to get it done quickly. At another job in a warehouse, I worked with a guy who was going to be a lawyer. He didn't want to be doing the work. He viewed it as menial labor. He was kind of lazy and said in the big picture, this job was meaningless so why work at it? I had a lot more fun with it though his attitude was a bit of a drag. I worked hard, I enjoyed the people there and I liked getting things done. My present job/career is much more challenging and financially rewarding. I get to use my brain, have an impact as a leader of teams, generate business through being entrepreneurial and all kinds of good stuff.

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  6. #16
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    Doing and Being

    The Protestant Work Ethic and Capitalism have a lot to answer for.

    But most of us aren't Protestant and aren't Capitalists, and yet we don't have our own Ethic of Being, nor do we have our own Economy.

    The Protestant Work Ethic and Capitalism have given us doing, while being goes begging.

    Why, when I go to a party they always ask me, what do you do? I feel bemused, a little lost, but I pull myself together and say, I don't need to justify my being.

    So am I one of the lost, or one of the just? How can I justify my being? Gosh, they tell me I can be justified through alienated work. But I tell them, alienated work makes me an alien, when I just want to be comfortable in my own skin.

  7. #17
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    It depends on what gives you meaning in life. If that thing happens to be able to provide enough for you to live on in the lifestyle you choose, that's the best. If not, well, there's not much choice and you're stuck with your meaningless day job.

    For me, I steer away from things that make me feel horrible, and I'm doing something that is part commercial and part education. I can live with that. At times it can also be quite fulfilling.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    It doesn't have to be that way. I see a number of people who are above doing particular kinds of work. Usually they are unemployed. Any kind of productive work can be fulfilling. When I was in college, part of my first job was mopping floors. I enjoyed that. I took some pride in doing it well and also worked to get it done quickly. At another job in a warehouse, I worked with a guy who was going to be a lawyer. He didn't want to be doing the work. He viewed it as menial labor. He was kind of lazy and said in the big picture, this job was meaningless so why work at it? I had a lot more fun with it though his attitude was a bit of a drag. I worked hard, I enjoyed the people there and I liked getting things done. My present job/career is much more challenging and financially rewarding. I get to use my brain, have an impact as a leader of teams, generate business through being entrepreneurial and all kinds of good stuff.
    Yeah, some of it is about attitude. I think, perhaps too, some of it is about situation. There are a lot of people who mop floors or work in warehouses their whole lives. There is fulfillment to be had in a job well done, certainly. But the devaluation of such work by folks like your warehouse co-worker can have a negative impact on the degree to which those jobs are fulfilling and unfortunately, I think our society has absorbed an attitude like his more than it has yours.

    I liked the job I had cleaning the bathrooms and floors at a department store. I could clean toilets all day and not really mind, especially if I can listen to a book while I'm doing it. It was dealing with the people who treated me badly because I was cleaning their toilets that made it unpleasant. Of course, if the money and benefits I earned from that job was all I had to live on instead of it being supplemental, I suspect my level of enjoyment would have been substantially reduced.
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