Working for Joy

No order of society can last in which one man says to another, “You work and toil, and earn bread, and I will eat it.”
–Abraham Lincoln

Buckminster Fuller made the often misunderstood statement that “no one should work for a living.” Did he mean that no one should work?

Find out what this revolutionary educator and author has to say about Fuller’s statement, and about the right relationship between workers and work, right here:

Work, to some, suggests drudgery–prostitution in order to earn a living–something one must do. For others of us, this is a gross misuse of the term; we believe that work is the productive and creative ability that makes human life possible. When the necessary work of the world is shared by all of its people, there need be no painful toil.

Work most certainly will continue to be done, but not by coercion and bribery. One should work for the love of it, the joy of it, the excitement of it–to be of service–to be of use–to learn. Why must there be such a close relationship between work and income? Imagine if people would work for satisfaction and not merely for pay. And if no one would work for another for hire, or no one would do certain tasks, many people would have to start taking care of themselves. Everyone would be required to do his or her own work, or else convince others to trade labor. Doctors would sweep their own floors; bankers would wash their own windows. The CEO of General Motors would change his own oil.

Work is one of our most useful learning tools; children love to imitate adults at work. It is drudgery that needs eliminating, not work.

Adapted from A Handmade Life, by Wm. S. Coperthwaite (Chelsea Green, 2002). Copyright (c) 2002 by Wm. S. Coperthwaite. Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green.
Adapted from A Handmade Life, by Wm. S. Coperthwaite (Chelsea Green, 2002).

15 comments

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for sharing.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for sharing.

Fiona T.
Fi T.3 years ago

Loving what we do is a blessing

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad3 years ago

My motto where work stem from is that "You had better love what you do as you will spend more time there than anywhere else in the given day"!!!

Ruth R.
Ruth R.5 years ago

"....We believe that work is the productive and creative ability that makes human life possible. When the necessary work of the world is shared by all of its people, there need be no painful toil."
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/working-for-joy.html#ixzz1JSvnSS3u

Thank You. Great statement.

Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

Nice, but hard to work for joy when your co-workers are ass**les and your supervisors throw their weight and importance around.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.