Happy Labor Day!
Well at least for those who are employed. Ever notice the more a person gets paid the more likely they are to think that almost everybody else doesn’t work as hard as they do? Maybe they believe that if people just quit whining, work harder and got a better job, they’d be able to get over themselves and get on with it. Just swallow a cup of Tea and it will all make sense. (Not!) Maybe they’re right? I hope they don’t have to put it to the test by losing their employment.
But what is it about work that makes it so central to our existence? Physics defines work as applied force. Motion, comprehension, spiritual advancement and social evolution, all require the mechanism of work to carry one force of energy (yours), past the barrier or resistance of another. For human beings the most common way one experiences their energy being applied is through the activity called labor.
Labor engages us physically and to some degree mentally. The exertion of energy requires the use of muscle, activates adrenalin, opens the sweat glands, deepens our breathing, increases heart rate, and when we have completed a task, endorphins are released causing us to feel relaxed and satisfied. Sometime later, if we were to strenuous, we also feel the effects of lactic acid on the micro-tears on our muscles. No pain, no gain? I don’t like the sentiment, but there is something to it.
Emotionally and psychologically, exertion and focus of our psychic force produces expansion in our abilities to perceive reality and exercise power in the form of creative endeavor or skill mastery. Confidence is built on knowledge and accomplishment. Enter the realm of employment.
Jobs are places, situations, and activities where Essence might assist you in expanding your capabilities and awareness; but it might also be a backwater where Ego allows you to hide from yourself or languish in Chief Feature. How you apply yourself is the key to the cost-benefit exchange of energy called wages or income. But interestingly enough modern compensation seems less often based in the notion: the more you do the more you get! It turns out that the more skillfully you can get others to apply their energy on your behalf, and then get part of or most of the benefit, you will get allot more than your actual exertion. Such a deal for the ones collecting the excess, but exploitation of those doing the work. Bravado over people vs. skill competence.
At a time when many people are exerting great amounts of energy trying to find work and getting nothing in return; or workers having wages or job security threatened, don’t we wish we were the CEO’s who continue to earn salaries and bonuses the likes of which history has never seen?! Either in nominal amount or actual proportion to their own actual toil, these are astronomically high, it is possible to understand why cynicism is on the rise.
But the remedy for those struggling is not in income alone, nor even change of attitude – watch this video, but rather that confluence of being at the right place with opportunities before you. When the Free Enterprise mechanism is allowed to work the potential for abundance and creative expression for all can be limitless. But many have been duped into believing that Capitalism is one in the same thing as free enterprise. It is NOT! And we tend to believe entrepreneurs are captains of industry.. Not necessarily. Adam Smith even said so in his book; Wealth of Nations. As companies grow, they seek to monopolize the market by erecting financial barriers to market entry and stifling any innovation except their own. Moving to gain further advantage, corporations (the brain child of the Capitalistic marriage between greed and risk aversion) begin buying politicians like so many attack dogs or implanting a virus into our system of government. Sound familiar? Then labor unions, which brought about such terrible social ills as: minimum wage, a reduction to a 40-hour work week, overtime pay, child labor laws, health and safety standards, and a rise in income that set the stage for the Middle Class; we are now told, inhibits those “job creators” in whose capable and benevolent hands rests all the power to provide employment opportunities… if we’d just trust them! “Take unions down,” is now the frustrated and desperate cry of many rank-n-file workers who have been convinced by these sound bites that unions, not a lack of available opportunities at a decent wage rate, is at the heart of their problem to find employment or advance.
And job creators DO create jobs: in China, India, Brazil, and other countries where worker protection is nil, and wage rates are near servitude level. Instead of a government by the people, for the people and of the people, as we have in the U.S. but are in danger to selling out; these countries have governments that are: on the people and controlling the people, for the wealthy and powerful people.
On this Labor Day, remember that honest toil is a means of having physical/psychic satisfaction and not a sign of lowly status. Yes, how much you do and how much you exert should be met with reasonable equivalent reward, but no one need be subjected to a steady diet of how worthless they must be if they fail to earn more money! In this fashion the systematic assault on the self-esteem of average low and middle income workers is an issue of both spiritual and class warfare.
For today: rest, enjoy and think: do I have what I need? And if not, what and with whom must I work to orchestrate a change? But change alone is not necessarily growth, it is only so when your work is aimed at a goal. Set one!
Ex Arbore Fructus – From the Fruits of our Labors (the motto on the Cocconi Family crest)
Stephen Cocconi © 2011