Wonderful little article that reminds us that the American Dream once centered on working less and having the leisure to enjoy the things that actually matter: among them, food, friends, family, and faith. Now that lost dream shows the foresight that could make for a better world. Why did we become stuck in a perversion of Puritan work ethic?
The best explanation for the advent of work without end, I now believe, is a failure of imagination. We’ve forgotten that the purpose of life is to be happy, and to pass that happiness on to future generations—not simply to keep acquiring more stuff. Our forebears understood that.
Perhaps the prospect that the Affordable Care Act would result in the reduction of working hours by a modest 2 percent might rekindle the old debate and resurrect the forgotten American Dream. We might even find in our recent history a more practical road to “full employment” and a sustainable alternative to perpetual economic growth. We might then rediscover what Whitman called “higher progress,” and spend less time banging the keyboards in our office cubicles and more time working on humanity—our families, our hobbies, our faiths.