What work have you done in life?
All in all, I have not done much work in my life. I have put in enough work to survive thus far, but I have not labored intensively in any capacity. I have worked hard enough in school to get good grades - occasionally even going beyond what was necessary - but I was never the top student either. I've worked more jobs than the number of months I've been at any one job consecutively. Most of my endeavors have been propelled by self-interest or encouraged by my financial status and it's worked for me so far. I've had a lot of experience in a lot of different environments and I've come to value that.
How does that work link you to community and broader economies?
I've seen products created by my hands and I've seen other products pass through my hands as I ring up yet another customer. I've seen the letters I've worked to string together to form words and sentences light up the eyes of their readers and I knew a little bit of myself was shared that day. Simply by working to live day-to-day, I've seen myself linked into the community if only as a stranger on the street. My work as a consumer and a pawn in the process of consumption has linked me to the local, national, international, and global economies. Everything is connected to some degree and my purchases at small, local businesses trickle up to funding trans-continental ventures, I'm sure. The specifics often come across as inconsequential, but in the grand scheme of things, the butterfly effect is there.
What have been the positive aspects of this work?
After a couple instances of work, I was able to follow that effect a small bit and some of my greatest pleasures have come from seeing how I influenced someone else positively. Sharing my writing with others has given them words they had previously struggled to find which makes me feel like I've contributed something useful to society. Even an act as simple as helping customers find something they were looking for has the potential to make our days better. In essence, I seek to make myself rich, but in a way that “cannot be bought for gold" (p. 170 line 15-16). I've also learned a great deal about what I enjoy, what I'm good at, and what I could work on or stay away from in the future. Each experience has made me a better person and increased my utility as a worker which is an ideal state economically.
Unfortunately, bouncing around from place to place has helped me personally and shows experience in multiple environments, but it does not show consistency. I do not know how I'm supposed to choose one thing to do for the rest of my life when I can barely stick with one thing for a year. The work I have done has also fostered animosity for the field of retail and capitalistic greed as a whole. I believe the way it has come to life is animalistic and vicious at times and I have no particular desire to play an integral part in that scheme. Feeling stuck in any one situation either due to contract or needing money and not having luck with finding another job has led to some feelings of hopelessness or apathy in that situation. Being in those kinds of scenarios for extended periods of time wreaks havoc mentally.
In the future, what work will you do? How might it contribute to community and broader economies?
Ideally, I would be doing work I'm passionate about rather than something mind-numbing and don't care about. It isn't “practical" but I would like to do something artsy rather than analytical and contribute to the world on an emotional level as opposed to one that can have a dollar put to it for the sake of profit. It may not be a way to make a living, but it would be a way to make a life I'm proud of living. In order to maintain a certain standard of living, I will have to make sacrifices and go against what I want to do so that I may have “security above all" (p. 453 line 32). However, as long as I can be a concrete source of good for someone once a day, or even once a week, I will not have completely failed.