The Meaning of Work

The Meaning of Work

Some interesting insights into the way the meaning of work has been distorted in our culture at Aimee Milburn’s Historical Christian blog. First, she passes on a critique of feminism by F. Carolyn Graglia:

. . . prior to the feminist revolution not even men understood work as a way to self-fulfillment, an end in itself.  Men understood work not as an end, but as a means: a way to have a family, a home, a neighborhood, a place and a community to come home to and be a part of.  Work supported and enabled relationships, and it was in relationships, with family and community, that one found fulfillment.  Graglia thinks that feminists got the wrong idea about work and career as a means of self-fulfillment � and that their widespread ideas have been extremely damaging to culture.

Later, Aimee adds:

In the Middle Ages… [a]ll of life and time was considered sacred; time itself was liturgical time, an unending cycle of feasts and fasts year-round, in which year by year all of humanity and creation was ascending to God, and humanity and creation were being sanctified.  This understanding was lost during the Protestant Reformation, in which there came to be a separation between the �sacred� and the �profane.�  The Protestant work ethic was introduced in direct response to the suppression of the many Catholic feasts days in which work was suspended and entire villages turned out for religious processions and celebrations � celebrations which were considered by Protestant landowners to be a waste of time, and suppressed in order to increase worker productivity.

And we�ve been living with the desire to increase worker productivity ever since, with increasing sacrifice of time meant for God, sacrifice of families and relationships, sacrifice of individual well-being. That has been the priority

Aimee has many more great reflections on the meaning of work. Read the whole entry here.


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  • Cold pizza is always one of my favorite breakfasts. Though today I was good and made oatmeal. I think this pizza is so thick it will need to be reheated in the toaster oven. But it’s definitely on today’s lunch menu. The leftover soup can wait.