By Don Iannone I've grown somewhat jaded
about the ability of work
to bring true meaning to our lives.
Pragmatically, I understand
that most of us must work to survive--
that is we must do something
for money to support ourselves. I'm not saying it isn't possible
to find personal meaning and purpose
in the work we do, but
I am saying that it is a struggle--
a fight much harder to fight for many. Growing up in eastern Ohio in the 1950s,
men literally killed themselves working.
The area's unsafe factories and coal mines
maimed and killed many workers,
denying many children their fathers early on.
Today fewer men and women die on the job,
but many more succomb to stress-related illnesses,
which in many cases cause their death. Looking inside many workplaces,
I see an equally important issue:
the work people do is breaking their spirit
and robbing them of their happiness.
This too is a form of death. So this poem is dedicated
to all the working stiffs out there--
those who are underpaid
and even those who are overpaid.
I salute you for your forbearance, and
for doing what you must to survive. But my advice to you is this:
don't accept your current work reality
as your final work reality.
Work at your happiness, and
what brings meaning and purpose to your life.
In so doing, your spirit is rightfully served.