Those Who Love Work

Christina Alger expresses her, and her dad’s, passion for work:

I was 6 at the time, maybe 7 … I was playing Office. In order to play Office, I had to get into character. I would don one of my dad’s suit jackets — I preferred a nice gray pinstripe — and would attempt to balance a spare pair of his glasses on my small snub nose. Sometimes I would shuffle around in his wingtips. Then I would organize piles of papers on my desk, filing them away in folders once they had been properly reviewed. …

My dad’s office … felt like Cheers: it was a place where I could relax after a long day, where everyone knew my name. … Dad was always willing to give me tasks that made me feel important. … My dad was then, and remains to this day, one of the few grown-ups I have come across who truly loved his job. … His enthusiasm for work was infectious. Dad loved playing office; why wouldn’t I? …

“Isn’t writing from home lonely?” My friend Anne asked me over coffee. “I have this vision of you stuck in your apartment all day, talking to imaginary people.” … “I’m an only child,” I shrugged. “I like being alone.” … Dad would like my new office, I think. He would see how much I enjoy working here. Whenever I have a successful day of writing, I wish I could share it with him. But not once have I ever felt lonely. (more)

Sure some who pretend to love work are fooling themselves, but I’m pretty sure that many others like Christina do honestly love their work. Yes Christina and her dad probably enjoy their work more because it is high status, but it is hard to believe their work love is entirely status driven – they’d probably still love their work, if a bit less, if it were low status.

It seems likely that we could find a few hundred humans like Jiro, Christina and her dad, productive folks who love work even when they put in many hours, and who are willing to adapt to the changed world ems would inhabit. If so, that world could be a vast wonderful world full of life and fulfillment.

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