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Work Reimagined by David Shapiro, Richard J. Leider

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CHAPTER 4

Reimagining Passions—Why Do You Do It?

What IS Work, Anyway?

To explore the nature of meaningful work, we must confront the big philosophical question: “What is the meaning of life?” In The Meaning of Life, philosopher Hugh S. Moorhead collected statements on life’s meaning from 250 writers and scholars. Novelist James Michener wrote: “The main purpose of life is: 1) to have a job in whose purpose you can believe; 2) to have friends whose immediate purposes you can trust; 3) to have some spot on earth which you can return to as home; and 4) to be at the same time a citizen of the world.”

It is no surprise that Michener lists work first. “We put our love where we have put our labor,” wrote Emerson. “To work is to pray,” said St. Benedict. ...

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