Friday, July 29, 2011

unpolished unpolished post i

Maybe we should speak more of a strong "love ethic" and less of a strong "work ethic."

Some weeks before my father died he expressed an anxiousness or sadness--I don't know quite the word--that he wasn't--I forget the word he used--useful? When someone consoled that he had done so much already, his response was that this was the past; he wanted to be "doing" at that point. I don't remember the exact discussion--this is the spirit of it though. Similarly, after my father passed, Hannah was crying one night because she missed him. I made some comment to the effect that he was really fun before she knew him; her response was that he was already fun. Hannah had the right idea: she was appreciating him for what he was at that point in time.

What am I driving at? I'm trying to universalize from these exchanges. One thing I'm thinking is that while working hard may at some points be what is called for, it is not the essence of what we are or what we owe each other. I think we should teach the value of work and appreciate the work people do (and let them know it), but we should also teach a reflectiveness about work and its motivations and limits. We should also extend the idea of what constitutes work (probably I need to read in Kierkegaard's Works of Love again). It is also helpful to remember what one my professors, Peter Sorenson said: sometimes we praise certain traits as "good" whereas they are really neutral and can be used for good OR ill; and I feel that work is one of them. Also, when we appreciate people's work, do we appreciate it for what it yields us personally, or for more altruistic, universal reasons reasons?...

um, time to stop talking about work and love and time to go do some chores, hopefully with love :)


Blogger C. Meyer said...

Nice! Smiles.

3:51 PM  

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