Why Work? 3

imagesIf work is indeed not “a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do” as Dorothy Sayers says in Why Work?, it implies work is more than just a means to gain.

Sayers also says, as a corollary, both employers and parents should more routinely ask, “what type of worker is suited to this type of work?” rather than finding the cheapest employee or best-paying job for children.

It also means “we should no longer think of work as something that we hastened to get through in order to enjoy our leisure.”  Leisure should instead be viewed as “the period of changed rhythm that [refresh] us for the delightful purpose of getting on with our work.”

Finally, “protests and strikes” would not only be about “pay and conditions” but also about “the quality of the work demanded and the honesty, beauty, and usefulness of the goods produced.”  For in Sayer’s mind, “the greatest insult which a commercial age has offered to the worker has been to rob him of all interest in the end product of the work and to force him to dedicate his life to making badly things which were not worth making.”


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