Andrew Ssenyonjo is doing amazing things with his organization, "Ignite Potential" in teaching employers and employees about work. Here is what he writes about this subject.
me ask, “Why do you think the message of working to retire early sounds good?” Let me also ask, “Why do you think having your money work for you sounds attractive?”
Why is it that human beings quickly adopt technologies that reduce the amount of work they must do? Why? Why don’t we maintain horses as a means of transport in preference to cars today? Is it our love for faster results or our dislike for work?
Trying So Much Not To Work
Do we hate work that much that we want to retire early or that we must strive to have our money work for us? Why are free things fought for? Why do privileges offered consistently turn into demands? Do we as human beings hate work that earns us all that we enjoy? Do human beings hate work? Do we hate hard work?
The protestant ethic was constructed on the idea that work is a curse or punishment for disobedience of man as quoted from the Bible. Therefore, they asserted that in order to know that one has survived the curse to work is to count how many days one can survive without working.
In other words, how much wealth has one accumulated that they no longer need to toil every day to survive? The protestant ethic was challenging the
existing philosophy that the reason a person worked was for the good of the community.
Despite Earlier Held Beliefs...
Since the protestant ethic, we have seen individuals who have accumulated so much wealth for themselves to the level of being richer than countries in which they live. One such example is John D. Rockefeller. Did they love work or the result that working brought to them? It is important to note that in the era of the protestant ethic, people worked hard to escape the curse of work.
In light of the protestant ethic, let me make a few statements that relate to work.
Why Work is Important
- The world is conditional. In order for it to be fruitful, it demands work from us.
- There is nothing desirable in work itself if it has no purpose
- Human beings run away from painful events and things towards pleasurable ones. Even then, no amount of pain can stop a human being from work if the end is desirable.
- Work in itself is not desirable. What makes work desirable is what we associate it with. If some folks work and gain status in society, other folks will work not because they love work but because of the benefits of working.
- Work that doesn’t contribute to the good of others remains worthless no matter how much it makes an individual rich. If a customer bought milk from you but then after you deliver it, he pours it on the ground in your sight, would you want to deliver more milk to him? If it were me, in the long run, no.
- Without a desirable end, work becomes a punishment.
- For every person, work is the constant. The results are a variable.
- Work is a natural law. You only see the consequences when you violate the law to work
- No one owns work. Work exists everywhere right from the side of the bed when you wake up right to where you spend a day.
What then, can I say about work?
Institutionalization of work:
Human beings won’t just work. There must be a reason for the work. There must be a reward for work for it to be desired. Even though work is a natural law and is everywhere, much of it today has been institutionalized. It is common for a good number of people in the population to say they
don’t have work or government has not provided them with work.
This belief emanates from the fact that organizations have taken over the role of creating work and paying for it. This kind of work will be well defined and the reward will be a must. When people today say they lack jobs, they mean organizations are not creating work for them. The belief itself is dangerous because there is so much work outside those organizations
"He who likes to serve others does not run out of work"
As I mentioned earlier, if there is no purpose for work, it becomes worthless. We love to see how our work helps others become better. If you tell a secretary to compile a report stating that you will not use it, their commitment to it might not be good.
Our desire to serve others is in our essence of existence. However, the person who attaches value in serving others will always have work. Human needs are insatiable. There will always be someone who needs to be served. That way, no one can say they
don’t have work.
He who says they don’t have work also implies that they are not willing to serve others. Their service to others must be permitted by another person like an employer
Serving others is noble. But, without benefitting from one’s service will eventually lead to burnout. Even a servant has needs. If work is the source of our survival, then it means we must find a way to price our work or the value people get from us. This ties into the essence of why work. If there is no
reason for work, it becomes a punishment.
When you see a nice building – built to touch the sky, the obvious conclusion is that there is a lot of work that went into it. Our own results and status in society is representative of the amount of work we have done. That is why work is a source of our identity. It gives us status. It is our obligation to love work. So, let’s work. It is good to work.
Author, Employee Trainer and creator of the Jobpreneurship Training