The Value of Work (Part Three)

For two days, I have blogged about the value of work—what it does for us and in us when we get the opportunity to apply our talent and effort to something we believe in. It does something good to us that nothing else can accomplish. Unemployment is one of the cruelest experiences a human can endure as it relates to their self-esteem.


But there’s another angle to this issue—the consequence of not working.

Consider the person we become when we refuse to work. Entitled. Critical. Lazy. People are at their best when they must reach inside and pull out the very best that lies within. Author Dan Pink reveals that we perform best when we experience:

1. Autonomy – I can self-regulate. I am resourceful and can do it on my own.

2. Mastery – I hone my gifts and improve to the point that I excel in an area.

3. Purpose – I work toward a cause that I believe is very important.

Obviously, there are some who cannot work. For them, I believe those of us who can, must reach out and help them in compassion. But for many others, we do them a disservice by not asking them to do their part. Only then can they avoid becoming less than the person they’re capable of becoming—especially a young person.

Below is a strong and pointed article. It was written by Alfred W. Evans from Gatesville, TX who’s concerned about this next generation. He’s worried about the future and the system he’s living in, where work is—well—unnecessary. He’s obviously writing out of emotion after seeing so many able-bodied people not working but enjoying a life of luxury far beyond his own. The solutions are just common sense in his opinion. His words were printed in the Waco Tribune Herald, Nov 18, 2010. The title:


Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for
 Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, or smoke, then get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your home will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.

In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a “government” job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22-inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the “common good.”

Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,” consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

 If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

AND, while you are on government subsistence, you no longer can vote. Yes, that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a government  welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.

You and I might have said this with more empathy, but he has a point, at least for some cases. Our current system doesn’t push people to be their best—so they aren’t. Anyone want to debate this?

The Value of Work (Part Three)