Wednesday, June 13, 2012


John and I were talking the other morning, and something he said sparked a thought in my brain.

Yes, it's possible.

We have no modern metaphor for work.

We used to say things like, "Put your nose to the grindstone," "Back in the saddle again," "Head off to the salt mines." Well, maybe the last has seen it's day; those salt mines couldn't have been too pleasant. But what metaphor do we have now?

"Log in" ?

"Take a meeting" ?

What are we teaching our children about work?

We thought a lot about that when our kids were little and we first started homeschooling. Several families we knew had dads who worked from home. I don't mean they had office jobs that they did at home, although some did. I mean they WORKED at home. Their kids saw them plowing fields, building furniture, fixing cars. When Mom said, "Dad's working," they knew just what that meant. We talked about how John would head off to the office, saying, "I'm off to work," and we wondered what our kids thought that meant. I mean, they knew a paycheck came home regularly, that food and clothing were available due to Dad's labors. But what were those labors? What did it mean to WORK?

I wonder about that, still. About what kids think it means to WORK.

And, if they're not sure, what does that mean for the future of work in this country? I'm still chewing on that one.

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