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The Greek referendum: The productivity of good works

The Greeks are in trouble in part because of their generous retirement benefits. Too many unproductive people drawing too much from the public till. But as with everything else in the news, this issue can be taken higher and point up a way that all of us, Greek or not, can help with a solution.

Is there really any such thing as retirement? To stop working is to die. We all have many things we can do as we get older to make the world better. The idea of retirement is really just an opportunity to change the focus of our work to some other productive activity.

And for that matter, if work after retirement can be brought to a higher level, so can work before retirement. Really, the problem is not retirement at all. It’s underemployment. In my career I’ve seen many more people who are using a tiny fraction of their capacity in their work than people who are pushing themselves higher and doing more and more valuable things.  

We need a more productive idea of work.

In my own work life, when I’ve considered hiring people, I’ve always looked for those who don’t have dreams. I don’t mean they shouldn’t be ambitious. They absolutely should. But their ambitions should be less personal and more to do something new and valuable for others, to help others deal with the difficulties of life more successfully. I want people who can put their own desires aside and work for others, knowing that their own needs will be met in abundant ways if they do that well. Someone like that is a pleasure to work with, inspires others, produces good products and is constantly improving. A good life, a productive life, as I see it, is determined by how much good we do for others.

I’m asking myself today, Am I being as productive as I can? If I can demonstrate better today than yesterday the productivity of good works, and bring those works as close as possible to the expression of divine Love, it will help make it possible for Greece and the European Union to find the solution to this financial crisis. I really believe that, even though my only contact with Greece in my life is a week of vacation on Crete a few years ago, and an exchange student, Stathis, who lived in my family’s home when I was in high school and kept us all in stitches.

Reader Comments (1)

Reading this insightful thinking about productivity, Keith, reminds me that Americans will celebrate Labor Day in two months. Growing up in the 1950s, there was a strong appreciation of "labor," which was mostly recognized at that time as having a union label. Almost 35 percent of American workers belonged to unions, and Labor Day was a big deal. Labor and unions are no longer synonymous now that less than 12 percent of American workers are in unions. But we should remember just how much the last century's union activities have improved our lives. Acceptable working conditions, decent pay, and benefits are a few examples. Labor is still all around us. We ought to make a point to express our thanks to all the people we see contributing their time and energy every day, unionized or not. This productivity is a benefit to all of us - worldwide.

July 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavid McClurkin

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