The temperature was zero as I headed out to my early morning meeting. This being at work by 8 a.m. is a drag. Fortunately I don’t usually go to work in the morning until 10 so I have time to write and get a workout in. I feel for everyone who goes to work early and works the same 8 hours each day. Work can be so numbing and also so satisfying. I don’t believe we humans are meant to work 40 hours or more per week. Sometimes it feels like a kind of social and mental slavery we all have agreed upon.
What would it be like if 40 hours per week was not given over to a job? What if we worked less hours and got paid enough to feel financial freedom. What if we worked for the enjoyment or the meaningfulness of it? What if money didn’t matter when it comes to our career? If you could do any kind of work, what would it be? How much would you work per week if you had a choice and it was only to do something meaningful?
These questions are good ones to ask ourselves because so much of our work life has to do with old ways of thinking, social structures, habits, and being stuck in the prison of limited thinking. All of this could change if we get clear about what we want.
One of my co-workers wants to only work 32 hours per week and she is worried she won’t be allowed to do so. She feels it would be good for her mental health. It would be a sad limitation if she was forced to conform to the status quo. Working with people on such an intense level can feel very draining and taking care of our mental health is essential.
What work changes would we make? How come pay has to be so low so 40 hours is just enough to get by and never ahead? How flexible are we willing to be when it comes to thinking about the way we do work?
Isn’t it time the old ways are questioned? Who benefits from the rigidity of the 40 hr. week? Mostly the beneficiary is the money making machine the drives us all in the name of profits. For us in human services we provide help at often a great cost to our own financial well being because we do it from our hearts and our caring. Our pay levels tell us that our work doesn’t matter to most. There is something really messed up with the priorities that drive this nation. OOPs got a little riled up about the lack of respect for those who care.
Flexible minds, innovative thinking, new ways of working and doing things that matter, all have the potential to alter the old tired ways. Look into ways to add flexibility to your work life as if it is your right to live your own way.
Please join me if you oppose the expansion of the War in Afghanistan by our country.
Afghan War Protest Letter #15
Dear Mr. President,
The old systems are here for you to change. You have been chosen with confidence by the people to bring about better and healthier ways of commerce, defense, education, housing, work life, healthcare, and environmental responsibility. The social structures are beginning to collapse because they are run by greed and the need for power and control. These are all systems created by the human ego.
The alternatives are solutions focused thinking based on a much higher level of functioning than the need to satisfy the ego. This higher nature we all posse does not linger in the small minds of fear, war, profit, and dominance. Instead this higher nature is about compassion, understanding, consciousness and the realization that we are all connected to each other on this planet.
Please bring us into a new era free from war and filled with peace.
Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.
You can send President Obama emails at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact