Labor Day, a day late.
The joy of working
...The readiness with which Americans embrace September each year, and return to the job each morning, suggests that work freely chosen, and freely accomplished, is essential to the good life. The real meaning of the weekend, it turns out, is in how it changes the experience of the weekday.
Can it be that liberated work is better than play? Is this what we mean by happiness? The poet Donald Hall locates that sensation in ``absorbedness," the being taken up in -- or taken over by -- the task at hand, whether a writer's task or a bank teller's. Hall associates the experience with looking up from one's work and finding that the hours have flown by. Why is there joy in that?
Everyone reads the newspaper over coffee and, confronted with evidence of relentless misery in the world, wishes for a way to make things better. But the wish is vague, and apparently pointless. Then we leave the house, plunging into the morning traffic, never thinking that by going off to work, we are doing exactly that -- our small part in the human effort to make things better...