Text: Vaula Eskeli
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
People are happy about many different things. Work is one thing that makes them happy and content. Work is more than just a source of income. It has multiple meanings to all of us.
Our motivation to work and our contentment with the tasks assigned to us depend on various factors: enjoyable working conditions, good atmosphere at work, good social relations with colleagues, and salary. Further characteristics of a good workplace include competent management, confidential interpersonal relations, positive recognition of workers, and opportunities for self-development and career promotion. Working people should feel appreciated and usefully capable both within their own working community and in society. At its best, work can make life meaningful, although work in itself does not make anybody happy. As in all life, there are both good days and bad days at work.
Many of us remember our childhood dreams of what we wished to become as grown-ups. For some, the dreams of what they wanted to do in adult life may come true, but quite often dream jobs change as the person grows older and gains experience.
My work has been something that I dreamed about as a child and have also liked as an adult. It has fulfilled my needs and desires. When I was applying to my first study program, the interviewer asked what would happen if I did not get accepted. I remember I responded with great determination that I would re-apply as many times as necessary to get into the program. I got accepted that first time. Later on, I studied for another profession, and now that I am close to retirement, I have occasionally worked with tasks that are almost similar to my first job.
I discussed with some acquaintances their work careers, how they liked their work, and what factors contributed to their liking or nor liking their jobs. The significance and value of work seem to be slightly different between the older generations and younger people. The post-war generation self-evidently appreciated diligence and devotion to work. Gaining a sufficient income could require a lot of work at that time. Parental attitudes often shape young people’s attitude toward schooling and career choices. Encouragement received at home may help the child to appreciate the value of school work and the consequent opportunities later in life. Skills learnt at home are valuable when a young person moves away from home to live independently.
The difference in modern people’s commitment to work is reflected in that they do not always continue in the same job and in the same workplace until retirement. Many people study for a new profession as adults, and people easily change jobs. It also turned out in the discussions that jobs felt to be interesting and versatile were considered more rewarding. It is important to feel that one’s work is meaningful. This makes workers committed and content. Working involves a blessing that is valuable in daily life.
An excessive work burden, on the other hand, is harmful for our physical and psychic health. Conflicts in the work community and overworking cause stress and fatigue and impair working capacity.
A friend of mine, who is a mother, mentioned that parents need to find good ways to reconcile the needs of children and the requirements of work. When the children are small and growing up, the situations within the family keep changing and take a heavy toll on the parents’ resources. She is a stay-at-home mother and said she does the performance evaluation sessions with herself.
A parent who takes care of their children at home is a specialist of child care and rearing. They deserve appreciation but also financial support from society. We constantly hear about demands for equality. But we cannot be equal in all things. God has given different duties to mothers and fathers. Yet, there is enough work and responsibility in a family to be shared by two people, and sharing helps them to manage everyday family life. The work done at home is indispensable for children’s welfare, even so that professional roles and social status are meaningless when the parents see their children as unique gifts.
The multiple meanings of work are crucially important regardless of whether we are talking about salaried work outside home or child care and other care-giving done at home. Family care-givers have the demanding responsibility to care for a special-needs child, an invalid or an elder. In my own work I have encountered elderly people who take care of their spouse and want to do most of that work by themselves. A lady who was nearly eighty once said warmly that she felt her work to be a labor of love that she wanted to do with the strength that she was given.
I have some personal experience of working as a family care-giver. I subbed for the mother of a special-needs child during her days off. The value of that work did not come from the financial compensation but from the joy that this special child brought into our home during those weekends.
When I think about the different aspects of work, I cannot help also thinking about unemployment and the factors that limit the ability to work. Appreciation of work is often emphasized. Busy professionals may not always realize that. Yet, unemployment can be a depressing and desperate experience. Both single people and parents worry about their livelihood and often feel anxiety. If the situation persists, there may also be pressure from outsiders. An unemployed person may experience criticism and discrimination. There are also people unable to work due to health problems. Being different from the mainstream should not make anybody feel inferior. We are all equally valuable before God’s eyes. I hope none of us wants to increase anybody’s burden. The Bible instructs us to carry each other’s burdens and to help those who need help (Gal. 6:2).
I hang my washing on the line
white, black, colorful.
I hang a child’s shirts,
a youngster’s favorite hoodie,
a table cloth made by my mother,
socks knit by my mother-in-law.
I look at the marks of life,
given to me.
Opistovuosi-koulutuksen valtakunnallisten opetussuunnitelman perusteiden mukaan oppivelvollisille tarkoitetun kansanopistokoulutuksen tavoitteena on edistää opiskelijan omaehtoista oppimista, auttaa häntä löytämään oma opiskelutyylinsä ja antaa valmiudet opintojen jatkamiseen perusopetuksen jälkeisessä koulutuksessa.
Mihin syntien anteeksiantamus perustuu Raamatun mukaan? Kirjoittaja käy läpi Uuden testamentin anteeksiantamusta käsittelevät kohdat, joiden kautta avautuu monipuolinen ja selkeä kuva aiheesta.