There are a couple of articles in the September issue of The Progressive magazine that I think are interesting to juxtapose. One is by John de Graf and it is about how working more doesn't necessarily translate—and in fact often does not translate—into happiness. The author advocates for people to reduce the amount of hours they work, so that they have more free time to pursue other activities, and also calls for employers to reduce employee hours, rather than terminate employees. There is a stub article posted on the website here.
In another article, Ruth Conliff writes about a new book by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett titled The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. The book talks about inequality, for example how some CEOs pay is 400 times more than what the average employee is paid in the same company, and suggests that this inequality is a root cause of disease in individuals and in society. This article is not posted to the website (unless you subscribe,) so if you're not a subscriber, I recommend checking this one out at the library.
Here's a couple excerpts:
Living in a society with massive income inequality makes people anxious, depressed, even physically sick, according to British health researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
Brain research shows that cooperation and friendship stimulate the reward centers in the brain, while the experience of social exclusion involves the same areas of the brain as physical pain.
There are other interesting articles, including one by Jim Hightower about the "jobless recovery." I mean really, how does that make sense! It seems to me that the idea that the economy is recovering is a myth.
Left Foot Organics is a local nonprofit organization helping people with disabilities and rural youth to gain job and life skills while growing good food for their community. Now in its eighth year, Left Foot offers paid employment experience and is committed to provide the support each individual needs to overcome their challenges and be successful.
On the third Saturday of each month Left Foot hosts volunteers in the morning to come out and help with farm work. The farm then provides a hot lunch for volunteers and following lunch a workshop is put on to provide community members with farm and social skills that are transferable to their everyday lives.
The month of June workshop will feature Hugh Zars of Zarswerks. Hugh will be teaching and giving hands-on advice about small engine maintenance and tractor repair. Hugh is a new friend to the farm and has given his time and energy to making sure all our equipment is in tip-top shape. He is a real expert with years of experience in engine repair and maintenance under his belt!
The day begins at 10 o'clock for volunteers and lunch is served at noon! Workshops typically begin around one o'clock. Please come ready to work in the elements!
Left Foot Organics is located at 11122 Case Road SW, Olympia, 98512, just 3 miles from exit 99 off interstate 5.
My friend replied in a discernibly disconsolate tone, "work."
Our conversation ended, and I went away. And I thought about my friend's statement and position some more. After a while, I returned and asked my friend what it would take to make work enjoyable.
My friend's response was that it would take a living wage, and health care benefits. That seemed reasonable enough to me. It seems reasonable that a person should be able make enough to support a family (if they should choose to have one) and to have health care in exchange for their work - no matter what kind of work they're engaged in. What do you think?
I told my friend not to feel too bad, because I think the truth is that there are a lot of people working in our economy today who have similar complaints. (After all, our economy is set up to serve the interests of capital, rather than the interests of life and of a healthy society.)
On another hand, I was also treated to an awesome visual and auditory experience when someone walked past me while playing an electric guitar. The guitar was hooked up to an amplifier, which went unseen. It was hidden underneath a jacket. This was totally awesome. Hooray for downtown Olympia.
View a larger version of the above photo: Miraculous Mud
Not quite sure how to get this out there, other than to just say it publicly. But, part of my resigning from being a docent here was realizing that my work and my time at this blog would at some point cross paths. I'm an information officer at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and I work for a handful of local tribes.
Additional note from 2010: I'm also a trustee of the Timberland Regional Library and a board member of the Friends of the Olympia Library and comments and posts here may reflect those roles.
That said, I am planning on engaging more directly here in that role, so I'm just letting everyone know ahead of time. My profile now reflects that information.
Also, my personal blog is still personal, I won't do any work stuff over there.
But, I do have a question: If I'm going to be work Emmett over on this blog every once in a while, how does everyone feel regarding my personal blogging here? The city hall stuff and library stuff, for example. To avoid confusion should I pull that stuff back to my personal blog?