Monday, July 19, 2010

Why?

"Why" is a question I keep asking myself. I ask because I must. I ask because, apparently, few others bother to ask.

An acquaintance works in IT for a very large German bank. I ask, why is that institution worth working for? I have little doubt that partly it is the money and partly it is an interest in the technology, but the best answer in his case would probably be   "because I can". 

In my case, I can't Again, I ask, "Why not?" In part, it is because they are a foreign-run meat house, and in part because I find nothing distinctive about the technology or methods they use, but the best answer is probably because I don't think they are worth even making the effort to support.

Even in the grand scheme of things, we have the here-and-now to concern ourselves with: the mortgage payments, kid's college tuition,  medical expenses, some semblance of recreation or enjoyment, and putting bread and butter on the table. Those reasons alone would  seem to be worth a meaningless paycheck, but the hidden costs are so very great (see my previous post).

We will all become dust one day. One may say "well, I'll have my reward in heaven" (or some other view of an afterlife), or if you are of the opposite persuasion you might say "well, I'll be gone anyway". You either choose to care about what and who you leave behind, or you don't. Why?

I cannot just become a back-woods homesteader or a pastry chef. So many I've known chose to drop-down or drop-out by working in service jobs or become psuedo-entrepreneurial middlemen, but even those still in the competition seem to be struggling for no particular ideals. Why?

Perhaps I've answer my own question. I can't just drop out, nor can I give my life to a company blindly. My work must support and advance my own values, and lead to some sort of long-term societal improvement well after I'm gone. That's why.
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