This weekend was an amazing weekend. The weather was incredible, the beach was warm, and the civil war re-enactors did a wonderful job living at Fort Stevens just like they would have done in 1863. We visit every year to relive the chaotic time in our nation’s history. However, I also use this time to read. Over the weekend I read page after page while sitting around the fire or in the warm sun, it was very relaxing.
This weekend has inspired a couple of different blogs. I will be posting them tonight and tomorrow. The first blog entry was inspired by an article written by Peggy Noonan which was entitled “Work and The American Character.” I think this is appropriate for Labor Day Weekend.
She begins her article by mentioning Mike Huckabee’s show on Fox. On this show he discussed the economic impact of joblessness, and while that is serious, he rightly identified the personal crisis of joblessness “because work it a spiritual event.” I think Huckabee and Noonan are right. Work is central to who we are as human beings.
When God created the heavens and the earth, he made a garden. In this garden he placed two people, Adam and Eve, and told them to till the garden. Thus work was designed from the very beginning to be something central to our essence, our species being. And as Noonan writes, “Work gives us purpose, stability, integration, shared mission. And so to be unable to work – unable to find or hold a job – is a kind of catastrophe for a human being.”
One of my favorite movies is the movie Dave. Kevin Kline plays the protagonist. Dave is the spitting image of the President. This comedic adventure demonstrates the growth of a person who is a good person to begin with but loses his way a bit. Dave owns a temporary agency that helps people find a job. His daily saying to encourage people, “Everyone works today.”
What would it take to get everyone working? Large companies hiring, people passionate about an idea that they know is scalable, and support from the right people to get the skills needed to find the right job. What will it take to get there? I think Noonan hits the nail on the head.
“What is needed now is a political leader on fire about all the possibilities, not one who tries to sound optimistic because polls show optimism is popular but someone with real passion about the idea of new businesses, new inventions, growth, productivity, breakthroughs, and jobs, jobs, jobs. Someone in love with the romance of the marketplace. We’ve lost that feeling among our political leaders, who mostly walk around looking like they have headaches. But American genius is still there, in our garages. Its been there since before Ben Franklin and the key and the kite and the bolt of lightening.”
I am so thankful that I have had a great career in the past and now am creating a second one. I am very fortunate. I also want to help others find their way to happiness at work, which is why I teach. Sometimes I think our politicians have forgotten the psychological importance of working. Our politicians are too focused on their own causes and not enough on the needs of the people. I hope that will chance.
And that is my thought for the day!