The Elixir of Work
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The Elixir of Work • Posted: Aug 21, 2008 17:36:31Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

A recent study by a media watch group found that Americans over the preceding 9 months were far more concerned about economic issues than media headlines would suggest. Certainly economic issues have been consistently covered within the business sections of media outlets. But if front page headlines are to be taken as a reflection of reader's, watcher's, and listener's major concerns, editors have failed to hit their mark. Apparently, money worries cloud our thoughts more than any other concern. That finding will likely be a revelation to editors, but not to most of us.

Money has become both the grease and passport to movement through today's society. There is no freedom without it. There is very little identity without it. Yet just having it is not enough. Accomplishment requires leverage. Money is leverage. The more money we have, the more leverage we have in pursuit of accomplishment. Panic strikes when we realize our leverage is inadequate relative to our aspirations. But how is it that we've allowed the idea of money to gain such control over us?

Ideas are goofy things. They connect us to and give meaning to our entire universe of experience. They are not constant or concrete, though. Ideas change. Undoubtedly that is what happened to our notion of money. As a concept we have allowed it to grow and evolve into something much bigger and more integral to every transaction we have with our social environment. Contracts measured in money tie us to each other and to nearly every other entity within our experience. That spider web of a concept we've built for ourselves has now become inescapable and we can't help being worried the spider is coming.

Perhaps we need to rethink the concept of money a bit. Perhaps we need to interject a few new ideas into our thinking about our relationship to things. It used to be the concept of work connected us to our physical and social world, not money. Skill and knowledge gave us leverage, not money. And for most of us, what we could produce we could eat. Accomplishment was sustaining. If we were to alter our thinking a bit, self-sufficiency based upon work might very likely render our interlocking world economic crisis irrelevant. No more entangling spider's web. No more spider to fear.

One caution, though. The concept of work can also change. Working for someone else opens the door to perversion of the concept into something that might better be described as slavery. Choose wisely the people and purposes you work for.

Saturday, July 8th, 2006