We did not hatch the concept of work. Work was initiated and created by God. It is recorded, God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden to work the garden. Their assignment was to cultivate and watch over the garden. God asked them to painlessly, “dress and keep” their little piece of the world. It is clear from this account, work was not intended to be a drudgery. It was intended to be enjoyable and meaningful.
When Adam fell in the garden, work took on a more arduous nature. And unfortunately it still is for many unskilled workers and agricultural laborers who employ more primitive methods, especially abroad. This is very unfortunate. It is a positive however, that by most accounts the middle class is emerging in many parts of the world. The hope is, we will see exponential improvements in these burgeoning economies that will eventually create the opportunity for less arduous working environments and more meaningfulness and enjoyable employments.
There is little argument that we have some advantages today in North America that we did not have in the past; meaningful and interesting employment opportunities, easier access to educational degrees and certificates, and some but not enough apprenticeship programs coupled with legal protections. These have all helped us to marginalize the more arduous aspects of work and increase our opportunity to take advantage of more enjoyable and meaningful occupations.
When this happens work is not a drudgery it is a gift. My oldest daughter does very meaningful work in one of our thriving major metropolitan areas. She is the Annual Fund Director at the city’s food bank. The food bank directly or indirectly feeds over 250,000 families a year. A couple of years ago I was talking to her on the phone. I started complaining a bit about my work, a challenge I was dealing with that week. Brittany knows that I feel my work is very meaningful and rewarding. She quickly replied “what are you saying Dad, you always told us that work is a gift” ….. Oops!
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