Love, Work and the Meaning of Life

A writer argues that work is crucial to finding meaning

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

With millions of jobs lost in this economy, people are reflecting on how important their jobs are -- and not just for the obvious financial reasons. Philosopher Alain de Botton has been thinking about what constitues a meaningful life. For his latest book, "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work," he followed working people around the world, going behind the scenes with fishermen, career counselors, and cookie manufacturers, to offer perspective on the working person's life.

Guests:

Alain de Botton

Comments [3]

Renate

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Mar. 06 2013 11:57 PM
Lucy

I bring more than expected of me, as a nurse at a homeless shelter. As an artist I bring excitement in Creative Parenting., Moms learn to engage their baby's imagination & think out of the box. With photography the moms learned to set up photo shoots, use inexpensive props, natural lighting to create magnificent photos of their babies and pregnant bellies. The Moms have gorgeous photos as keepsakes. Believing in importance of early education, I've instituted a very early story session, called Baby Tales. Three times weekly, babies engage a high energy 30 minute session of stories and songs. Squeals, smiles, gurgles bring a smile to my face and fills my heart. Each day, babies greet me with smiles and squeals of delight. I am a celebrity amongst the babies there. The creativity and compassion I bring brightens these lives. The me I bring to work, makes me look forward to another day. Although I make little money, I know I make a difference.

Thanks
Lucy

Jun. 02 2009 08:10 AM
Hugh Sansom

"What do you do?"

Alain de Botton has to get out of his armchair.

That question is a decidely American thing -- and to the extent that Americanism has spread, it is a question in Britain and other Western industrialized economies.

He also shows staggering ignorance of our culture, where a small but significant percentage of the population is so wealthy that it does not have to work (as Mr. Hockenberry notes) and does indeed not work. This is certainly observable in New York City.

Apart from the ignorance he betrays, de Botton largely just repeats the obvious.

God save us from pop-philosophers like Alain de Botton. (And from the fawning interviewers who jump into their laps.)

Jun. 02 2009 06:57 AM

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