IPJC Justice Cafés
Community + Justice + Spirituality + Young Adults
Join the Conversation on the Dignity & Rights of Workers
Read the update from the Justice Cafe at Margrove College in Detroit Michigan.
We had an engaging discussion in Westfield, NJ last night. The five of us tried different ways of answering the question "Why do we work?" and basically came to a balance of Livelihood (material), Fulfillment (psycho-spiritual-emotional), and Contribution (to society). We also noticed the importance of compassion toward "workers" and "employers," recognizing that each of us--regardless of our role at a given time and place--is essentially "human." We parted with a resolution to cultivate compassion.
We had a great discussion about workers and focused on the Dignity of workers and the work done. There were four of us in attendance, 3 men and I was the only woman. While the values of work and the desire to be economically viable were addressed, the topic of gender (and gender role) perspective regarding work and the dignity of work were highlighted. Work plays such a major factor is our ability to function within society; unemployment and underemployment are strong stressors that can (and often do) lead to depression and feelings of low self worth and low self esteem. Working, whether paid or volunteer work, serves as a source of pride as well and personal fulfillment; being a part of the community and engaging in work for the community brings about a dignity through the work done. We also addressed the topic of desired work versus required work; moreover, feelings of deserving certain types of work over others. The conclusion was that regardless of the work done, there is dignity in it and the outcome from it.
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