“A Life at Work”July 31, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 1 Comment
A Life at Work touches on a subject of great concern to most of us: work, and whether we like it or not. I’m guessing many of us don’t. I, for one, would rather be home writing a book proposal. No offense to my job, my workplace, my boss… I’d just rather be doing something else. And you – are you reading this at work? Who can blame someone for preferring to think about books during the day, when let’s face it, our jobs could probably be more mentally challenging? (My boyfriend is the opposite. He’s an aerospace engineer, and the last thing he wants to do is read something mentally challenging during his off hours). It’s hard to argue that what we do for a living doesn’t color our lives, while we’re in our offices and when we go home for the day.
Thomas Moore takes the approach that many of our frustrations in life come back to whether we are satisfied with our careers or not. When we’re upset with our friends or family, perhaps the real problem is that we’re not doing fulfilling work. When we’re unhealthy or addicted to something, it’s the same thing. When we do something we love, something we find so interesting that we don’t notice the time passing, it makes everything else in our lives easier. (Unless, of course, we’re workaholics, in which case we are out of balance). The message is more about finding something meaningful, whatever it might be, than about hypnotizing yourself into trying to love a job that isn’t a good fit.
This is an approachable book. Moore pinpoints a friend of his who seems to be living a complete disaster and uses him as an example. If I were “Scottie” I would stop returning Moore’s calls… It almost reads as though he’s writing a special message to his friend to urge him to clean up his act. Embarrassing! On the other hand, these examples make perfect sense, and it’s nice comparing oneself to this train wreck of a character and thinking, “I guess I’m not so badly off after all.”
Overall, A Life at Work is an excellent introduction to looking at one’s livelihood from a spiritual perspective. It’s free of dogma and New Age hoopla. Carrying it on the train shouldn’t scare anybody off, if you know what I mean.