Hard work – a moral dilemma

I am definitely feeling my age when I was excited about switching on to Radio 4 to listen to the subject of the Moral Maze programme. It was an interesting subject under discussion – whether hard work is good for people. I suppose it can sound straightforward as work has a contribution to society that not working doesn’t but that is far to simplistic as a view.

The risk is that the discussion will descend into a ranking of job roles and which have more intrinsic value than others. Nothing is ever that simple. Just because someone is working in a service, public sector or in business doesn’t make their work of more value.

I decided that for me it is about the motivations behind why someone is doing the work they do. If you are focused on improving society, helping people and leaving a positive impression that has to be the most important thing. If you are working just to make more money, have nicer things and surround yourself with luxuries then it doesn’t matter what job you do to me it will have less value. You are coming from a selfish position.

Don’t get me wrong I understand that everyone has to make a living. We all want to have enough to cover essentials no matter what role we have been doing. But that doesn’t have to be our priority. The priority should be to leave a positive and lasting impression on the people around us and in our communities.

It is a subject that warrants much further discussion. As the financial situation becomes increasingly more challenging, it is essential that senior people understand what motivates the workforce. Developing an appetite for change can only happen with a willing workforce who see the link to the reason they joined the job, role or organisation. In the public sector the driver of wanting to have a positive impact on society and communities is very strong it now just needs to be harnessed.

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