the pleasures and sorrows of work.

“There is an impractical side of human nature particularly open to making sacrifices for the sake of creating objects that are more graceful and intelligent than we normally manage to be.”

“When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money.”

“It is paying death too much respect to prepare for it with sage prescriptions. Let it surprise us… let death find us as we are building up our matchstick protests against its waves. Our work will at least have distracted us… it will have given us a sense of mastery, it will have made us respectably tired, it will have put food on the table. It will have kept us out of greater trouble.”

{selections from Alain de Botton’s The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work}

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