July 11, 2017

OUR REAL WORK BEGINS WHEN JOBS END:

The 'end' of work (JORDAN J. BALLOR • July 11, 2017, Acton)

We each have a particular role to play, something unique to contribute to the common good. Leo avers that "social and public life can only be maintained by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition." Or as Kuyper puts it in relation to the cultural mandate: "Our human nature is placed in the nature that surrounds us, not in order to leave nature as it is, but to work on nature instinctively and irrepressibly, by means of art, to improve and perfect it."

All of this is why I find much of the discussion about the "end" (as in termination) of work overblown. That's not to say there aren't huge challenges, at both the macro and micro levels. But if we see the "end" (as in the goal) of work to be the productive service of human beings, then there never will be an end of good work to do, whether individually in our lives or collectively in our societies.


So part of rightly identifying what the challenges we face today really are and really require is in part definitional. If "work" is what you do for a paycheck, then there are already many people who do not work. But if work is what you do to serve others, as I think Lester DeKoster rightly identifies it, then what we are charged with, amidst transition and turmoil, is finding ever-new creative and productive ways to serve others and thereby make ourselves useful to God in this world. And that, in turn, places a great deal of emphasis on innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial dynamism in the new, global economy.

Posted by at July 11, 2017 6:03 PM

  

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