Monday, April 05, 2010

working to escape work?

We have created work and working environments to be so oppressive, demeaning, and uninteresting that we have millions working in hopes of escape through retirement.

As an alternative, I highly recommend the life of a self-employed craftsman. It is challenging, engaging, offers the opportunity to develop skills at your own pace in a number of areas, using the full range of your intelligence. You can alleviate boredom, by pushing your own limits at a pace comfortable to your own needs for psychic fulfillment and growth. For the craftsman, work can be wonderful.

The first "hardest part" of being a craftsman is developing work that is distinctive, beautiful, useful, with perceived values that enable your products to be sold at a price that supports making a business of your work. Then the second "hardest part" is that there is no income security in being a craftsman. The uncertainly is near certain. Your income rises and falls on your own effort, creativity, and product sales.

On the other hand, I heard a report on the radio that the average worker will have had 12 jobs in 4 occupations before turning 40. We live in insecure times. By making our technology easy to use, we have made it so that anyone in the world can use it as easily and as effectively as we can. By asking so little of our children, we have given them very little of that which they will need to compete. And so, the future may belong to the makers... the artisans of the world; those who who take on the physical, mental and emotional challenge of creating beautiful useful objects of deeper and greater meaning. It is work worth working hard to capture and keep, to escape not one single minute.

On a related subject, Peter Rhodes sent the following link from Australia. Helicopter parents not doing enough to let children fail by Anna Patty in the Sydney Morning Herald.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How odd. I have worked for 31 years at the same job, teaching, but before that I never had a job more than two years before getting bored and looking for something better.

Mario

Doug Stowe said...

Mario, you chose your job well. I did like you... worked a series of jobs that didn't offer the depth needed for investing myself deeply. Teaching is a good one that can last, if the administration doesn't mess things up for you.