Sunday, 15 March 2015

E.F. Schumacher's 3 Purposes of Good Work

"How does work relate to the end and purpose of man's being? It has been recognized in all authentic teachings of mankind that every human being born into this world has to work not merely to keep himself alive but to strive toward perfection. To keep himself alive, he needs various goods and services which will not be forthcoming without human labour. To perfect himself, he needs purposeful activity in accordance with the injunction: 'Whichever gift each of you has received, use it in service to one another, like good stewards dispensing the grace of God in its varied forms.' From this, we may derive the three purposes of human work as follows:

First, to provide necessary and useful goods and services.
Second, to enable every one of us to use and thereby perfect out gifts like good stewards.
Third, to do so in service to, and in co-operation with, others, so as to liberate ourselves from our inborn egocentricity.

This threefold function makes work so central to human life that it is truly impossible to conceive of life at the human level without work. 'Without work, all life goes rotten, ' said Albert Camus, 'but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.' "
- E.F. Schumacher, Good Work (1979)

"Permaculture is not about romanticising a golden age, but rather an attempt to re-define the way in which we work and to think of the importance of an integration of art and life. In industrial-consumer society, we have seen a tendency to separate beauty and function, art has become an elite occupation which is seen as an extra activity, not essential. Art is something the ordinary person goes to see in a gallery at the weekend, not an entity which has direct relevance to and importance in everyday life. Permaculture aims to create a society where work is seen as art, where beauty and function are intertwined, and people have a part in creating the objects with which they are surrounded. Beautiful surroundings and articles are important and the work which people do should be seen as artistic and creative."
- Joanne Tippet, A Pattern Language of Sustainability (1994),

Javan K. Bernakevitch's Zones of Brilliance questions