Maybe it’s my Christian upbringing that always told me that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” but I am adamant that people must work. The importance of work has been established time and time again to reduce depression, increase sex drive, increase happiness levels and self-esteem and overall, makes us more rational creatures.
There are hundreds of fantastic blogs and articles that talk about the importance of work, for people of all ages – men, women and children. I really like this quote by sociologist William Julius Wilson on the impact of unemployment on people, which I totally stole of the blog http://careerencouragement.typepad.com:
“In the absence of regular employment, a person lacks not only a place in which to work and the receipt of regular income but also a coherent organization of the present – that is a concrete system of expectations and goals. Regular employment provides the anchor for the spatial and temporal aspects of daily life. It determines where you are going to be and when you are going to be there. In the absence of regular employment, life, including family life, becomes less coherent. Persistent unemployment, and irregular employment hinder rational planning in daily life, a necessary condition of adaptation to an industrial economy.”
People are such snobs about work. I know so many people who refuse to buckle down and get a full-time job, even though they definitely need the money. The crazy thing is these people would be so much happier if they would buckle down and get a real job. I think work is the answer to so many problems.
I started working long before I can remember. My mom gave us chores every week and paid us an allowance. Maybe that’s where I learned that working leads to money. And money leads to freedom. We didn’t have a lot of money, but my mom would always allow me to earn money by doing extra chores like cleaning the china, weeding, etc. Soon I learned to love the act of working. It makes you feel good, it makes you feel like you accomplish something and it makes you feel in control of yourself and things around you.
My biggest gripe right now is not with people who don’t teach their children the importance of work. You can teach children the value of hard work even when they’re toddlers. Of course, one of the best ways to teach them this is to lead by example. My 14 month old mimics everything I do (which of course terrifies me) and loves to push the vacuum around because he sees me do it all the time. If you sit on your fat butt and watch TV all day long, kids will do that too.
There are also a lot of studies on career women being happier than stay-at-home moms. I don’t really want to comment on this because right now I do both. I’ve done the career thing for longer, but I like the combo right now of staying home with my kid and running my company from my home. I feel really grateful that I get to do both.
My point is that i just think people who work in general are happier – that doesn’t exclude women (or men) who stay at home. Chasing around a toddler all day long is hard work to be sure. What I get so crazy upset about is people (men and women) who are fracking lazy and refuse to earn money to help out. And people who’s husbands work full time and earn enough that they don’t need to, so they sit around and talk about other people, become self-consumed and cheat on their spouses. I think these people should be shipped off to a work camp until they learn the value of work. Then they can be sent back to their homes as long as they promise to contribute.
Working is so important for teens as well. If they’re working, and that could mean outside jobs, chores, gardening, cleaning, babysitting, etc) they can’t be doing stuff they ought not to be doing. My neighbors kids are completely screwed up. The 16 year old daughter’s one goal in life is to get pregnant and the 14 year old son just wants to get high all day. If these kids were put to work – and seriously the only help for them at this stage is to be shipped off to a juvenile work camp or something – they wouldn’t have time to be so reckless. The world does not need more lazy, cable-watching non-contributors. We need people who work to help this nation get out of its slump.
I started working when I was 15. My first job was a telemarketer for a carpet cleaning service. And then I was a waitress, hostess and cashier at a tiny cafe in Bountiful, Utah called Serve-Us Cafe and Drug. My list goes on an on. 2 weeks is the longest I’ve gone without a job. And they weren’t all high-status jobs as you can see. I’ve worked with kids who have special needs (biggest mistake of my life. Both times. Not so much with the kids themselves, they were great – but with their regular caretakers. If there is a bigger bunch of loony-toon, obese, monsters it’s the people who think they’re protecting people with special needs. But that’s another blog entry), I have worked temp jobs in New York and Texas, worked stuffing checks into sleeves then I was a teenager. And then I’ve had some really rewarding jobs being an editor, a writer, a marketer, a public relations director. But really, I found that it doesn’t matter what I do. Just doing is the ticket.