The Meaning Of Work: The Variety Of Motivators

1262 words - 6 pages

Life is a ceaseless battlefield where people are born to adapt and to strive in their daily work. Even though most people agree that work is an essential element of their lives, they tend to have a variety of motivations for their different careers. Some people work because it is required for food and shelter. For example, in many poor families, their uneducated members do all types of laborious jobs to financially support their families. Another group of people works because they want to make contributions to their society. In Carl T. Rowan’s essay “Unforgettable Miss Bessie,” he describes his memorable high school teacher Miss Bessie, an interesting and dedicated teacher who guides many poor students to find their potential and to achieve in their careers. Miss Bessie’s consistent effort successfully encourages her students to fight for their dreams through education. In Richard Rodriguez’s essay “Workers,” he claims that his skin color does not have any effect on his career path because his long education prepares him to fight for his personal rights. Through an experience of doing menial jobs in the summer, Rodriguez meets some Mexican workers who remain quietly with their unfair treatments. However, he also knows that he is different from them even though they share the same skin color. All in all, many people strive in their careers for different reasons such as a responsibility to support their families, a desire to benefit the society, and an eagerness to follow their dreams.
Sometimes, people work just to earn the money to provide a more comfortable life for their families. Although their current jobs may not be their dream jobs, they still work for the paycheck they earn. In the essay “Workers,” Rodriguez mentions a group of Mexican migrant workers with limited employment opportunities. Because of their vulnerability such as the lack of English communication skills, the Mexican workers are treated unfairly. Rodriguez writes, “Their silence stays with me now. The wages those Mexicans received for their labor were only a measure of their disadvantaged condition.” These Mexican workers’ working environment is indeed harsh; nevertheless, they appreciate their jobs because the salary they earn in America has “the good rate of exchange ‘in their own countries.” To them, a fair and meaningful job means nothing, and money is what motivates them to work. Therefore, they have no complaints about their unfair jobs in America. In fact, they choose to exchange their diligent effort for the dollars that provide their family back in Mexico a better life. Similar to the Mexican workers, my father did not have many choices about his career. He was born in a large poor family in a small village in mainland China. Because his parents were just poor farmers who could not afford to raise all of their seven children at the same time, my father did not have the chance to finish high school. Furthermore, he was obligated to take a responsibility to supply...

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