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Is Work Essential for Flourishing


IsWork Essential for Flourishing

IsWork Essential for Flourishing

Workis an engagement that involves both the human body and mind.Involvement in labor is geared towards meeting a particular objective(Michaelson,Pratt, Grant and Dunn, 2014). A big question that arises is whether work is essential forflourishing. In this essay, the paper examines the essence of work byaddressing the question is work crucial for human flourishing. Thepaper argues that work is indeed essential for flourishing. Inaddition, the presentation compares and contrasts the views of twophilosophers: Henry David Thoreau and Joseph Pieper on labor.

Astate of happiness denotes human flourishing. According to differentpolls, people find happiness when they spend time with both theirfamilies and friends. Studies disclose that about ninety-sevenpercent of individuals feel comfortable when they spend much timearound this company. Secondly, people find happiness in work(Compton &amp Hoffman, 2012).Polls state that about ninety-two percent of people feel that theyderive their pleasure from their work. Imperatively, the flourishingof an individual is acquired from the happiness that they gain fromtheir work. As a result of this analysis, work is consideredessential to happiness which is a sign of blossoming.

Workis considered essential to human happiness because it gives one asense of purpose. For instance, a person may work three days a weekand volunteer at a local charity or spend time learning an art form,an example being stain glass making(Compton &amp Hoffman, 2012).Each of these activities is essential to making the world a betterand beautiful place. Furthermore, it contributes to humaninterdependence for all social creatures. When one fails to worktherefore, they do not have a justified reason to wake up in themorning. However, when others depend on us for service and othersocial benefits, one can get up well aware that there is a reason tolive. Furthermore, when we retire and stop existing, we make theworld a worse place.

Accordingto Michaelsonet al. (2014) work offers us an opportunity to mature and learn.These two virtues come about from the skills and knowledge thatemployees derive from training at their jobs. Individuals also gainnew perspectives on life and how to co-exist with others. The saidpeople then become more dynamic and increase their perceptions of howto do things at work. Working creates opportunities for one to learnfrom situations, acquire new skills and change the society aroundthem. Imperatively, work offers people the chance to learn anddevelop valuable skills and new perspectives in life. From aninternal standpoint, the spirit requires one to work. For instance,when Henry Thoreau abhors carpenters, farmers and other workers forfailing to see how beautiful nature is, it implies that work makes itpossible for people to enjoy and connect with their natural habit(Thoreau 2015).However, Thoreau believes that work should not be routine. Thus,workers must find time to relax and strive to understand nature andits joys.

Froma biblical perspective, work inspires Christians to live out atheology that integrates life faith, economics, and work.Accordingly, doing this ensures that Christians can flourish in theirlives and impact positively on the lives of others(Compton &amp Hoffman 2012).Work also fosters social connectivity. Research shows that someemployees remain in jobs as a result of their colleague’s influenceor due to views held by them. Working together creates relationshipsthat thrive based on the common mission that co-workers have.Essentially, it can be said that people spend more time with theircolleagues in comparison to both friends and family members. The timespent and the experiences attained leads to the creation of broadsocial connectivity whose impact we cannot ignore due to affiliationto this ties.

Workallows one to create both social and individual stability in life.This can be achieved by being stationed extensively in a single firmor organization. Imperatively, work requires one to focus on theirefforts for an extended period and allows them to earn an income.This, in turn, makes it easier for them to provide for the needs oftheir families(Compton &amp Hoffman 2012).Effectively, the stability of the individual and family is essentialfor the sustainability of society. A society flourishes when itsmembers, especially families, are well established. It suffices tonote that work is a significant means to thrive and flourish forhumankind. Work is essential to our nature and a part of what itimplies to be human beings. According to Josef Pieper, life is workand life is leisure. Therefore, our lives should focus on working andhaving leisure. However, work comes first before on can relax

Comparingand Contrasting Henry Thoreau and Josef Pieper on the Essence of Work

Thoreauand Pieper had similar and contrasting views on work and itssignificance to human flourishing. The two philosophers of Americanand German decent, believed that toil and leisure are intertwined,implying that as one works, they also need time to relax. Accordingto Thoreau, a skilled laborer is one who never crowds his day withwork, but one who saunters his task surrounded by a wide halo ofleisure and ease. Such a worker does not need to exaggerate the valueof his work at the expense of relaxation(Thoreau 2015).In the same breath, Pieper postulates that the world of work is adifferent mind-set of leisure. Such an outlook does not contemplatebut makes its calculations based on the utility it derives from work.Imperatively, the two philosophers agree that work is essential butmust not override everything. This is mostly at the expense of havingleisure and time for other issues that are vital for one to flourish(Sylvester 2013).

Conversely,the two disagree on the essence of work based on how they perceivelaborers or workers. According to Pieper, any work must not becondemned because of the purpose of human beings, according to thescriptures is to work. God expects us to work for sustainment oflife. Furthermore, God created man with the ability to work(Thoreau 2015).Therefore, every job is important. However, Thoreau’s perspectiveon work differs. He considers inferior laborers an example beingfarmers, as only satisfied with their crops and nothing else. Thoreaufails to recognize that these farmers are not only driven by moneyand satisfaction but by the aspect of everyday work since it isessential for human flourishing.

Asstated I agree with some of their positions, especially therelationship between work and leisure. The philosophers postulatethat leisure and work are essential to human flourishing because theyare complimentary to one another(Compton &amp Hoffman 2012). My initial points maintain that work remains indispensable and everytype of work is important because it allows one to achieve more andmake the world a better place.


Workis essential to human flourishing because of the benefits that itcreates to society and individuals. Furthermore, nature can only bebeautiful if we work and appreciate it. However, work must not takeus away from our families and friends and leisure.


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Flourishing.Nelson Education.

Michaelson,C, Pratt, M.G, Grant, A.M. and Dunn, C. (2014). Meaningful work:

Connectingbusiness ethics and organization studies. Journalof Business Ethics,121(1),pp.77-90.

Sattelmeyer,R. (2014). Thoreau`sReading: A Study in Intellectual History with

BibliographicalCatalogue.Princeton University Press.

Sylvester,C. (2013). Fiftieth Anniversary: Of Time, Work, and Leisure. Journalof Leisure


Thoreau,H.D. (2015). Thoreauon Nature: Sage Words on Finding Harmony with the Natural World.Skyhorse Publishing, Inc…