The Working Life Essay

1355 Words6 Pages
The belief that work is morally good is the definition of work ethic provided by The American Heritage Dictionary. Work can mean different things to different people. Usually, when we first think of a word and its meaning, we look at its definition. When defining what is morally good, one must remain open to past societal meanings of what was considered moral. Work ethic has developed and changed through different cultures over centuries. Historians and philosophers have developed great insights and theories pertaining specifically to the meaning of work ethic and its meaningfulness in today's modern employment, while some have praised it and some have cursed it. Which leads us to the question, do workers today have a calling or…show more content…
Furthermore, people who work for wealth are never satisfied, because the things that they want and the work that they do to get it are never ending.

Work takes on greater importance in a society where people believe that they can master the material world and shape their own destinies, and less where they believe that they can not. An Ancient Greek philosopher said that the only stability in the world was within one's mind or soul, where ideas were secure from the unending changes that took place in the material world. In Ancient Greece, philosophers believed that a person's thoughts and ideas were more important than that person's work and that work in the material world lacked permanence. For the ancient Greeks, the status of particular occupations depended on the degree of freedom a person had, the perceived moral integrity of the occupation, and the amount of mental and physical work it required. Today we tend to feel that working in an office is better than working in a coal mine, regardless of which worker makes more money. Our language suggests that it is a privilege to work sitting down.

In various cultures in the era before Christ, the material world was thought impermanent and inferior to the mental and spiritual world, but work was not disdained. The Buddha in the sixth century B.C. said that people suffer because they thirst for material things and physical pleasures, and that the
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