I’ve written many articles about the dignity of work. Here I go again. One of my first articles I penned received pushback from some older caretakers, feeling sorry for my mother, who loved work. My husband suggested I leave it alone. Me, being me, responded, professionally, without rancor, telling the sixty-something-year-old caretaker that my mother required no sympathy for her choice to create purpose and meaning in the last season of her life.
My last article focused on work’s benefits, and not necessarily for the greater good, which some believe should be its primary drive. I discussed Cornelius Vanderbilt, and his motivation to rise above his impoverished background, creating a dynasty. Was he searching for a way to further society’s benefit? Who knows, but he did while furthering his status.
What’s wrong with that? There’s a war on work and a battle against wealth creators. Without these individuals, what would’ve been America’s future? In two hundred and forty-seven years, the United States became the most prosperous country in the world, the first founded without pillage.
Those who bemoan its sins continue walking around, often dazed and confused about our history as they scan their smartphones and computers.
I’m not dazed or confused about this reality, but I, too, rely on remarkable innovations that have eased life for Americans.
Let’s walk through history for those who believe its main reason is forwarding society at large.
American-born children and young immigrants were taught long ago, that America’s high standard of living came from work and innovation, but most of us didn’t know what happened, in our history, with the emphasis on the collective.
For years, American children received lessons about the demise of early colonists in Virginia and Massachusetts.
Their deaths resulted from harsh winters. Along with most Americans, I took this with face value, born, raised, and living in four-seasoned Massachusetts.
Well, a false narrative prevailed, with important facts omitted. I’ve written about this issue in past articles.
The British discovered people perished because of laziness.
When arriving on American shores, A British leader observed fertile soil and able-bodied people.
They concluded people weren’t interested in toiling for the greater good.
What to do?
The colonists received a parcel of land, that’s correct: private property. What happened? They thrived. For anyone doubting this, please read Dr. Thomas J. Di Lorenzo’s book, The Problem with Socialism. He quotes the British individual who witnessed the devastation.
With an individual’s ability to focus on their well-being, the butterfly effect occurs.
Often, it inspires others to follow, and then what? The greater good reaches the larger community, a win-win for all.
For example, if senior adults prefer working until their “The End,” why not?
If it wards off depression, which contributes to lack of self-care and, possibly, ill health, it’s a benefit for the individual and greater society.
If you start the other way, many people refuse to take part, as exemplified by America’s earliest arrivals.
I’ve heard stories from professionals, working within a system that guarantees a job for life.
They’ve shared their frustrations with me when those not-so-diligent workers resist performing at an optimal level. Their superiors know their hands are tied, so they turn to their worker bees instead.
We are selfish by nature and need something beyond the collective. Those preaching sacrifice are often wealthy or enrich themselves, bellowing for the greater good.
We see this with alleged insider trading and other protections offered to political elites.
The United States, with its warts, blemishes, and shortcomings, is a country like no other, and excuse me, I’m unapologetic in my bias. When the individual invents, often following many failures, it trickles down, helping all of us. Are they selfish? Probably, but if we reap the fruits of their well-paid labor, who cares? If you disagree, think train, airplane, electricity, automobile, telephone, telegram, fax machine, internet, Apple, Google, Amazon, Zoom, and so much more.
I’m excited for what’s coming in the sunset of my life. How about you?
Why not take a not-so-savory human characteristic within flawed but brilliant human beings, and support creativity and discoveries which benefit them, but at some point, us too?
Your thoughts? I invite you to share.