Are we a society that (still) values work?
The common narrative says that America was founded on the desire for independence and the will to work for it. When I think about the people who chose to come here (or didn’t choose to come here) and who toiled in the fields, in the mills, and later in the factories, it makes me feel so—cushy—for lack of a better word. Job performance was a matter of life and death, and most of us wouldn’t fare too well. Of course we don’t have the acquired knowledge, but do we have the required work ethic?
It goes without saying that people today are busy. We have no shortage of work to do. Does that necessarily mean we as a society know and appreciate the value of work? And what is the value of work in the first place?
Here is where we could start trash-talking millennials or debate the merits of welfare programs. It could get accusatory, as it so often does. The beauty of our purpose is that we seek not to answer the question but to ponder it, not to point fingers but to consider points.
Have we, as Americans, lost our sense of the value of work or retained it? Why does it matter?