Find your calling.
The thing gets made, gets built, and you’re the slave
who rolls the log beneath the block, then another,
then pushes the block, then pulls a log
from the rear back to the front
again and then again it goes beneath the block,
and so on. It’s how a thing gets made—not
because you’re sensitive, or you get genetic-lucky,
or God says: Here’s a nice family,
seven children, let’s see: this one in charge
of the village dunghill, these two die of buboes, this one
Kierkegaard, this one a drooling
nincompoop, this one clerk, this one cooper.
You need to love the thing you do—birdhouse building,
painting tulips exclusively, whatever —and then
you do it
so consciously driven
by your unconscious
that the thing becomes a wedge
that splits a stone and between the halves
the wedge then grows, i.e., the thing
is solid but with a soul,
a life of its own. Inspiration, the donnée,
the gift, the bolt of fire
down the arm that makes the art?
Grow up! Give me, please, a break!
You make the thing because you love the thing
and you love the thing because someone else loved it
enough to make you love it.
And with that your heart like a tent peg pounded
toward the earth’s core.
And with that your heart on a beam burns
through the ionosphere.
And with that you go to work.
Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
|—||from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (via justasklionheart)|
Americans tend to overestimate how many hours they work in a typical week by about 5 to 10 percent, according to a study published in a Labor Department journal, with the biggest exaggerators being people who work longer weeks.
The study compared people’s estimates for how much time they spent working against a time diary they were asked to keep of all their activities. Whether because of faulty memories or a desire to sound more industrious (or some combination of the two), most respondents systematically overestimated how much time they spent at work.
The typical person who reported having worked 40 hours, for example, actually worked closer to 37. The report found that “The greater the estimate, the greater the overestimate”; people who said they worked 75 hours actually worked closer to 50 hours. (That’s an overestimate of 25 hours, or 50 percent!) At the other end of the spectrum, people who worked relatively few hours (under around 25) actually ended to underestimate their hours.
We can deal with unemployment every bit as effectively by having people work fewer hours, as we can by increasing demand.
The most important point to realize is that the problem facing wealthy countries at the moment is not that we are poor, as the stern proponents of austerity insist. The problem is that we are wealthy. We have tens of millions of people unemployed precisely because we can meet current demand without needing their labor.
There is nothing natural about the length of the average work week or work year and there are, in fact, large variations across countries. The average worker in Germany and the Netherlands puts in 20% fewer hours in a year than the average worker in the United States. This means that if the US adopted Germany’s work patterns tomorrow, it would immediately eliminate unemployment.
|—||Why Americans should work less – the way Germans do | Dean Baker | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk (via swirlspice)|