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  • Writer's pictureMike Woods


I read an interesting article in The Atlantic by staff writer Derek Thompson. In it he addresses the misplaced faith Americans have put in their occupations. Increasingly over the years people have been encouraged to find their fulfillment and purpose in their jobs or careers. Young people are repeatedly told to pursue a career that they are passionate about. The narrative directs that if you pursue your passion through career “you’ll never work a day in your life” since you won’t be laboring, but entering a zone of transcendence where efforts magically transform into personal fulfillment.

He writes; “But our desks were never meant to be our altars. The modern labor force evolved to serve the needs of consumers and capitalists; not to satisfy tens of millions of people seeking transcendence at the office…..This mismatch between expectations and reality is a recipe for severe disappointment, if not outright misery”. I’m reminded of the horrifying Nazi slogan “work sets you free”. The harsh reality is that work does not set you free. Jobs, professions, careers or occupations are not the primary means by which a people should find indenty or freedom. Occupations are a means of making money. Often times they are not satisfying or liberating. Gaining freedom is a fight that takes place on a different battle field. Freedom takes place in the heart, the mind, the soul and the spirit. No job takes us to that promised land.

-Mike Woods

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