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The Sorrows of Work
A consoling essay on how to deal with the (inevitable) sorrows of work.
Work can be a route to creativity, excitement and purpose. Nevertheless, many of us end up confused, discouraged and beaten by our working lives. The temptation is often to blame ourselves, and to feel privately ashamed and guilty. However, as this book lucidly explains, there is a range of well-embedded and intriguing reasons why work proves demoralising, including the evolution of modern work, the role of technology and the mechanics of the economy. This surprisingly cheering book offers us an invigorating perspective on our working lives – and what we might do at times when our work challenges us almost unbearably.
The Sorrows of Work:
Work disappoints us, not by coincidence but by necessity, for at least eight central reasons:
1. The demand for specialisation limits our potential. 2. The concentration of capital squeezes out personal initiative. 3. The extent of consumer choice forces us to commercialise our work beyond what feels tolerable. 4. The scale of industry robs us of a sense of meaning. 5. Competition generates a state of perpetual anxiety. 6. The requirement for collaboration maddens us. 7. Our high aspirations embitter us. 8. The notion that the world is meritocratic imposes a crushing burden of responsibility on us for our defeats.