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work ethics, ha!

updated thu 8 jul 04


Lili Krakowski on wed 7 jul 04

As I lay here counting my toenails and sipping iced tea, I had time to =

Work ethic describes a choice in a free and relatively affluent =

The concept does not remotely apply--is is almost ironic-- where =
subsistence living can be achieved only by round the clock work.
It certainly would be unspeakable cynicism to apply it to those who =
worked in German or Russian slave labor camps ( Vide: Schindler's List, =
The Gulag Archipelago, White Nights...). It certainly did not apply to =
London's chimney sweeps, child labor in the "dark satanic mills", child =
miners (that IS an e, not a typo for O). (Vide Dickens, Mrs Gaskell, =
inter al.) It did not apply to pregnant women on all fours pulling coal =
carts through mine shafts (no it was not an early Lamaze exercise!) It =
did not apply to the slaves of our own South, to the men rowing galleys, =
to the men on chain gangs....It did not apply to the pioneers (Vide =
Giants in the Earth, among others.) And it does not apply to millions =
of people working today, yes, in our own country, trying to make ends =
meet. (Vide Nickle and Dimed)

"Work ethic" applies only to those who can choose. Who could make a =
living working a "normal" day but work extra hours, days, so that their =
kids can go to college without need to borrow. It applies to those who =
work all day to make a living, and volunteer as mentors, or firemen, or =
whatever, to "heal the world". =20

I admire Rikki for what she did. But I expect that had she not wanted =
to work that horrendous schedule she could have done other work. Rikki: =
I am NOT picking on you, and I am NOT any less awed by your =
achievement. You made your choice and you stuck to it through thick and =
thin. Brava! Brava! But the society I am pretty sure, allowed you a =
CHOICE. Your particular work ethic made you do what you did. Bravo. =
It was NOT lack of choice.

As to those apprentices in Japan. Whoopdidoo! They work all day, they =
work all night. How much choice do they have? In The Broken Mirror =
that Dutchman who was a Buddhist monk for a while, and then became a =
mystery writer--Jan something--tells of a young and wretchedly unhappy =
monk who envied Jan because Jan had chosen to be there, and could choose =
to leave--while he, poor victim, had been forced into the monastery by =
his father.....That he chanted or meditated or whatever all day was not =
his work ethic--it was his cruel father....

I will now count and see if I have a toe for every toenail....