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The Concept of "Taking Pride in One's Work" Depresses Me


It was about 6 o'clock. I was on my way home from work, and passed a local business that's done very well for themselves.

A couple of cars were coming out of their lot, and I thought, "Man, I wonder what's it's like to be the one who started that."

I'm in the startup world myself, so thoughts of others starting and succeeding in business both comfort and excite me. But then I thought about the employees.

For the founders, this business is their entire lives! For the employees, it could just be something they do. They listen to their managers, do what they're told, punch a clock, get a check, and go home to where their real lives take place.

What kind of life is that? The concept of "taking pride in one's work" depresses me, because it means there's an alternative.

It means that a lot of people are just punching a clock to get by. They're not doing anything that makes them happy or that enables them to be fulfilled. How is that not depressing?

To me, it makes sense that taking pride in your work should be a basic human right, not something only the lucky few can aspire to.

You've done something. You've created something. You've accomplished something. You've helped something grow. If you can't take pride in that, why are you doing it?

Work is where we spend the single largest chunk of our waking hours. If given the choice - and all of us have the choice, to some extent - why would you put yourself through 40 hours a week of melancholy? Who is that good for?

If you can't take pride in what you do, why do it? It's discouraging that in this land of opportunity, someone could go an entire life without fulfilling work. There's no other way to say it. That makes me sad! 

Not in a pitying way, but in a kind of sympathetic way. It makes me sad that anyone wouldn't be able to realize the gratification of that basic human right to find personal value in the thing they spend the majority of their conscious hours doing.