Work

Work takes a variety of forms. There is work that is backbreaking and not life sustaining, much like the work done in this image. These women awaken early each day, fish in the Gulf of Thailand and then sell the fish along the Cambodian shore. It barely sustains them. There is no planning for the future, beyond planning to fish tomorrow. There is work that is soft and cushy and makes loads of money, sometimes at the expense of others. While it is life sustaining, I wonder ultimately if the life that it drains from you is worth the income.

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I had an amazing career – it was living large. I had demands on my time to be in two or three places at once. I drove a special vehicle, and occasionally was ferried about in a helicopter. I made loads of money. I lived in a big house, a compound really, to escape from the world at large. And all that, I had no life. I never saw my family, unless it was scheduled and then only if something more important didn’t interrupt.

And then the conviction that living had to be so much more than the life that I had. I took a job teaching. In a community college. I often joked that it was the least amount of work for the most amount of money. And it was life saving. I have the opportunity to educate about 300 students a semester in a subject that will assist them in gaining life sustaining careers. Most of them will be able to exit a life that is not enviable and emerge as people that can support their families in honorable professions. Work. It is so much more, when we consider what it holds in store.

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