Even though I cut this from the final version of my novel What’s Left, it’s still true:
What people need, and this is essential to a proper approach to labor, is balance.
Two things are going on here, one inside the other, but I’d like to be less confusing.
The first, quite simply, is my belief in what we Quakers call centering. We find our stopping all outwork activity for a time of deep meditation and reflection helps bring us perspective on the other parts of our lives. Add to that moderation and simplicity or focus all leading to a healthy balance of individuality, home, career, community, faith, and so on.
The second touches on attitudes toward labor itself, which quite frankly has been demeaned in modern society. What makes the concept of leisure so exalted? The danger, I suspect, is in overworking — often sucking any joy out of the project at hand.
Think of your job. What could management do to make it more human?