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The American Puritan Work Ethic Essay

2196 words - 9 pages

“Ms. GGGG, we are pleased to inform you of your 35% raise to your salary for this year’s pay. As per your hard work and dedication to our project, the business associates here at Google appreciate all you have done for our company.” Ahh! The sweet smell of success! After all of my diligence and stress over this project, I am finally able to be rewarded and it feels better than ever. None of my accomplishments would have been possible without that strict work ethic that had been implemented since the start of my internship. This method of success, as I like to call it, is one of the main reasons, I believe, that any of my triumphs were made possible. Whenever questioned, the associates would always say, “The American Puritan work ethic will get us to where we need to be. Follow it, and we will walk through the light at the end of the tunnel.” The American Puritan work ethic is a way to go about duties, tasks, and obligations and it is said that with hard work and frugality, success is achievable. The broad tree of success can be narrowed down to one branch- American business. The rave of this colonial work ethic has been on going for centuries. Businessmen follow this ethic because, throughout history, it has been proven to be beneficial. Many scholars have argued that Protestantism continues to play a powerful— and often implicit— role in the values of contemporary Americans. As with anything that seems to be dominant in a society, there are those who do not agree that the work ethic is valuable. The reports of success from working through this ethic have been documented throughout history and will continue to be. Although businessmen and journalists, such as Robert Becker, believe exploitation has been the primary outcome of the American Puritan work ethic, expert criticism, published commentary, and history prove that the progress and growth of American business was, and will continue to be, a consequence of the wise application of this work ethic.
Many people believe that the guidelines and consequences presented in the Puritan work ethic are outdated and are no longer relevant to today’s society. Abiding by this practice means pushing you to extents without taking breaks or begging for a time out. Leisure time is definitely not scripted in the Puritans’ work ethic guidelines and, according to many, is controversial. As journalist Andrew Sullivan questions, “Would it be such a terrible thing if exhausted American workers were able to take real vacations of more than two weeks a year?” American’s disregard to an aggressive work ethic is evident. Following this work ethic means pushing through all sorts of obstacles without breaking for anything except success-which seems like a difficult concept for society to grasp according to Sullivan. The consequence of not abiding by this work ethic in early time periods meant being thrown into an eternal cave of torture. Failure in today’s society may not result in such cruel and everlasting...

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