Work


During the birth of this country, Puritans had to work hard to ensure
the success of the new state. In order to make work more appealing, the
Puritans emphasized the fruits of labor. This attitude, reflected in modern day
by the act of "working for a living," is considered as a "badge of pride."
Puritan attitudes toward work and the attitudes of two modern day writers toward
work all agree that the act of working has virtuous effects, an attitude that I
share because of my working experience (Clee and Clee 233-234).
Three different attitudes toward work, expressed by several writers whom
I have recently studied agree that hard work yields positive rewards. Henry F.
Bedford, a history teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy, and Trevor Colbourne, a
teacher at the University of New Hampshire, examine the Puritan attitude toward
work in their book The Americans: A Brief History. Puritans stress the goodness
of working by relating it to religious beliefs. Sloth is sinful, but the
Puritans also pointed out that it was self-defeating. Leisure is even
considered an "evil temptation" (Bedford and Colbourne 235-238). Marge Piercy,
a modern day poet, essayist, and novelist, attempts to explain why work is
desirable on contemporary terms in her poem "To Be of Use." To Piercy, hard
workers who really persevere are admirable because of the fact that the world is
full of temptations to stop working, or to not work altogether. This admiration
for determination is apparent because work is as "common as mud," and it must be
done sometime (Piercy 242-243). Wendell Berry, an English teacher at the
University of Kentucky, explains the basis of the desire to work in his essay
"The Joy of Work." In response to the prediction that there will be no work in
the future, Berry emphasizes the importance of work to human nature. He
explains that people do work because of "fellow feeling," and that people get
satisfaction from doing work (Berry 244-247).
The concept of satisfaction as a product of hard work has been proven
valid to me through my years of experience.
All of these selections agree that work is a basic part of life:
without it, one would have a void in his life where satisfaction would be.
Success of humanity depends on work.

Category: Business