As Canada celebrates Labour Day weekend, there are important questions concerning Gandhi's premise that we must begin asking ourselves. For example, how do we deal with a world of wealth without work? Upon entering an era of ironies, we find ourselves forced to deal with some increasing contradictions -- employability replaces employment, people without jobs, jobs without people, numerous part-time jobs replacing full-time ones, employment numbers going down because people have stopped looking for work altogether.
A lot of people ask me why I'm still on ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program). People think maybe I'm lazy or just don't want to work. I want to work. I want to work so badly and live with that freedom and independence I had before, but I can't. No one wants to hire someone with a grade six education who can't understand all the things they should.
If one were to believe the ads found on TV there are a million ways to get in shape: whether it be gross tasting health drinks, expensive personal trainers or unusual sounding miracle drugs. Although a quick fix might seem like the easiest way to drop lbs and get in shape, they have dramatic consequences.
People need income, and if given real choices, most would opt to earn a living by helping others rather than by harming them. Humane jobs afford people with good working conditions, doing jobs that help animals, or that help both people and animals. Humane jobs feed people's stomachs and their sense of pride.
You'll need to reinvent your knowledge base often as you go through life. And as graduates from a liberal arts and sciences university, you know that it's not just your knowledge that's important. It's your ability to think, collaborate, solve problems, synthesize and to learn and learn again, again and again.
Some people may be able to find "a job" but is the pay enough to even cover basic expenses? Are the hours sufficient? Are they consistent? Or is it not only impossible to schedule the essentials of life, but to pay for them? Above and beyond these important, tangible dimensions, do people enjoy their jobs?
Spring is often the time of year when you engage in some spring cleaning; getting rid of what's been stored over the winter that you doubt you will ever use again. What about your mental debris? You know, those limiting beliefs, those skewed expectations, that internal dialogue -- that story -- that is just not serving you any longer.
Somewhere, somehow, during his short time in the planet, my son has absorbed the idea that people work to make money, and if money were no object, people might make different decisions. In part, he's right. For most of us, money is one reason we work. But I want him (and his sister) to grow up believing that it's not the only reason.