This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: t age, or younger, in a room with nothing to do but think, and you
reduce him to abject misery and restlessness. Most of our reading, entertainment, has this object, and if
necessity did not spur men on to work steadily, the tedium of their own thoughts would. To reflect is pleasant
only to a few, and the need of a task is the need of the average human being. Perhaps once upon a time in
some idyllic age, some fabled age of innocence, time passed pleasantly without work. To-day, work is the
prime way of killing time, adding therefore to its functions of organizing activity, achievement and social
value of recreation.
Yet contradictory as it seems, though many of us love work for its own sake, most of us do not love our own
work. That is because few of us choose our work; it is thrust upon us. Happy is he who has chosen and chosen
Industry, energy, steadiness are parts of the work-equipment; enthusiasm, eagerness, the love of work, in
short, is another part. Love of work is not a unitary character; it is a resultant of many forces and motives.
Springing from the love of activity, it receives its direction from ambition and is reinforced by success and
achievement. Few can continue to love a work at which they fail, for self-love is injured and that paralyzes the
activity. Here and there is some one who can love his work, even though he is half-starved as a result,--a poet,
a novelist, an inventor, a scientist, but these dream and hope for better things. But the bulk of the half-starved
labor of the world, half-starved literally as well as symbolically, has no light of hope ahead of it and cannot
love the work that does not offer a reward. It is easy for those who reap pleasure and reward from their labors
to sing of the joy of work; business man, professional man, artist, handicraftsman, farmer,--these may find in
the thing they do the satisfaction of the creative desires and the reward of seeing their product; but the factory
is a Frankenstein delivering huge masses of products but eating up the producers. The more specialized it
becomes the less each man creates of the uni...
View Full Document
- Spring '11