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Showing posts from November, 2013

Work, money, value, rambling

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “work.” I’ve been thinking about how we devalue work that isn’t paid, about how we define some types of work as “frivolous” and ultimately not real work at all; about how we often assume that real, serious, socially validated work is hard and frequently unpleasant and how true “passion” for one’s work is, outside of certain narrow exceptions, immediately suspect.
“Work is work,” I was frequently told growing up. “You’re not supposed to like your work. That’s why it’s called work.”
I ran across this lovely essay in the New York Times, and its themes have been ringing in my head ever since. The author of the piece appears to be a comfortable, financially successful middle-aged man with what would be considered a “real” job. His son is a 25-year old musician. The author writes with love and pride and concern about his son’s career path:
“My son Max is a 25-year-old singer and songwriter who goes by the moniker Dolfish. When my friends ask how his caree…