The Working Life Essay

1958 words - 8 pages

The belief that work is morally good is the definition of work ethic provided by The American Heritage Dictionary. Work can mean different things to different people. Usually, when we first think of a word and its meaning, we look at its definition. When defining what is morally good, one must remain open to past societal meanings of what was considered moral. Work ethic has developed and changed through different cultures over centuries. Historians and philosophers have developed great insights and theories pertaining specifically to the meaning of work ethic and its meaningfulness in today's modern employment, while some have praised it and some have cursed it. Which leads us to the question, do workers today have a calling or are they simply doing their jobs?

From ancient times to the early Middle Ages, hard work did not get you into heaven, demonstrate your moral goodness, endear you to your neighbors, or promise insight into the meaning of your life. During that time, a poet and farmer named Hesiod observed that "envy and strife" motivated people to work and that strife is good for morals. By fourth century, historian Xenophon wrote that work was the price that people had to pay for the goods of life. But Aristotle believed that work done for profit could be its own curse. He thought that property, in regards to land and slaves, not work, was the basis of a person's livelihood. He distinguished between work done to produce things for use in the household and work done for commercial gain. He said that household work, done to produce the things we need to stay alive is natural and finite, because humans' needs are finite.

Those who believe they should spend their lives working at getting or not losing money are, according to Aristotle, "intent on living only, and not upon living well." People who are consumed with getting wealth use everything as a means of wealth. Furthermore, people who work for wealth are never satisfied, because the things that they want and the work that they do to get it are never ending.

Work takes on greater importance in a society where people believe that they can master the material world and shape their own destinies, and less where they believe that they can not. An Ancient Greek philosopher said that the only stability in the world was within one's mind or soul, where ideas were secure from the unending changes that took place in the material world. In Ancient Greece, philosophers believed that a person's thoughts and ideas were more important than that person's work and that work in the material world lacked permanence. For the ancient Greeks, the status of particular occupations depended on the degree of freedom a person had, the perceived moral integrity of the occupation, and the amount of mental and physical work it required. Today we tend to feel that working in an office is better than working in a coal mine, regardless of which worker makes more money. Our language...

Find Another Essay On The Working Life

Working Women and Family Life Essay

1152 words - 5 pages Many women today are facing choices that their mothers never had to face. One of these choices is whether or not to go back to work after having a child. This was practically unheard of in the 1950's. In the 1990's it is not whether the mother will or will not go back to work, rather a question of when. When did the choice become set in stone? Why do the mothers of today have to work outside the home versus working in the home, much like their...

Flexible Working Essay

1245 words - 5 pages Flexible work is a roster that constantly changing compared to job with a work schedule was prescribed the time example between hours 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Among types time job that is flexible is job sharing, part time, compressed hours, flextime, annualized hours, and staggered hours. According to Cherlin 2002, flexible job time basis concept is to help staff using working hours they by better so that they can work full-time, but not necessarily in...

Flexible working

1687 words - 7 pages INTRODUCTIONThe concept of 'a job for life' and a compliant, loyal workforce is long gone. In its place are more self-determined employees who know their rights and demand ever more freedom, flexibility and co-operation from their employer frequently with powerful unions, and now new legislation to back them up.DEFINITIONFlexible working is a broad term covering a variety of working time patterns and other working arrangements. For employers,...

Working 2

896 words - 4 pages Work And The Indivdual Simply put, work is a major contributor in shaping an individual's life. Our lives revolve around the work we do and the rewards that we get from our work. Work provides the individual not only income to live by, but also identity, value, social belief, social relation and respect. The type of work we choose to do determines our status in society and measures our level of success in life. In this society,...

Temporary Working

2480 words - 10 pages Temporary employment is becoming increasingly popular within the UK, allowing organisations to manage when they encounter staff shortages, and external and competitive pressures. Temporary workers are individuals who are employed by organisations to fulfil job roles when they are in demand. Temporary employees may work full-time or part-time, for one week or several, depending on whether or not the organisation requires their labour. ...

Working Women

1582 words - 6 pages For centuries women have been viewed as the caretakers of the family. However, as more women are either earning higher salaries than their spouses or taking on the role as the “breadwinner” of the household, that view gets a little more complicated. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family – this...

Working Dogs

3700 words - 15 pages Dogs are very common in the world we know today. Many households have one or more. Dogs are trained to be pets. Not only trained to be pets, dogs are also trained for work. Dogs are getting used more and more in our work environment. House dogs can also be considered a working dog depending on why the dog is there. There are many jobs for dogs. Dogs make a big impact on our working and social lives. There are many different types...

Working at The Bindery

1291 words - 5 pages Working at The Bindery I have a dream. I have a dream about getting a doctorate degree in music. Well, to get that far, I know I must get through undergraduate school first, let alone graduate school, and so on. Last year I realized that I needed a job that paid much more than minimum wage if I was going to afford to go to college. I then heard about The Bindery from a friend in the same situation as I was. I filled out an...

The Working Class

1379 words - 6 pages Karl Marx once said “Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor is sucks” (Karl Marx Quotes). Marx is well known as the Father of Communism, but now that the cold war is over and Communism is but a theory of government for a few countries, we can study Karl Marx as a visionary of his time, who foresaw how capitalism would grow out of control. With the used of religion,...

Working Teens VS. Non-Working Teens

1085 words - 4 pages In every generation, there are high school students that want to work for some extra money. They have a fair amount of spare time. Also, most teens desire money and they think that money gives you freedom. When a teen is being interviewed by an employer, they usually exaggerate answers. For example, why do you want to work here? The teen would most likely reply with "I want to gain some work experience." They really want to work to get the money....

Working-Class Representation

2400 words - 10 pages Literature, as a crucial part of culture, functions as the reflection of reality. According to Marx, “the mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life” (Williams 266). Superstructure, as the product of men’s spiritual processes, containing various ideological forms one of which is literature, is not determined by “the consciousness of men”, but by “the social...

Similar Essays

Slims Table: The Life Of A Working Class Black Person

1484 words - 6 pages Slims Table: The Life Of A Working Class Black Person Slims Table, written by Mitchell Duneier has been called a true stereotype buster due to its content in which it truthfully examines the lifestyles of working class black men. The book is designed to break the common misconceptions imbedded in a majority of peoples minds over how a black man lives his life and why he in a sense "does what he does," "thinks what he thinks," and "acts the way...

"The Good Earth" Essay. A Chinese Book Of A Farmer's Hard Life Working On The Land

1035 words - 4 pages Chapters 1-13 EssayThe Good Earth is a Chinese book of a farmer's hard life working on the land. Ittells of the farmer's good times and bad times, and all through this there is alwaysthe good earth that produces his crops that he may eat or sell to make money.Chapter 1: Wang Lung is on his marriage day. He wakes up apon a bright andglorios morning. Wang does his normal chores in the morning and also takes abath and gets a hair cut. He is glad...

The Quality Of Life For Working Students Living In Davao City

1160 words - 5 pages Felce (2005) a quality of life defined as a highly subjective measure of happiness that is an important factor of many financial decisions. The factors that play a role in quality of life contrast according to personal preferences, but they often include financial security, job satisfaction, family life, health and safety. A model of quality of life is proposed that integrates objective and subjective indicators, a broad range of life domains,...

Working Essay

791 words - 3 pages Work And The Indivdual       Simply put, work is a major contributor in shaping an individual's life. Our lives revolve around the work we do and the rewards that we get from our work. Work provides the individual not only income to live by, but also identity, value, social belief, social relation and respect. The type of work we choose to do determines our status in society and measures our level of success in life....