I Work

I work because I have to. Not to make rent, although that is a requirement. I work to feel I accomplish something in this system we've created. Not because it's perfect, but because it isn't.

Some say - with strong arguments and sound reasoning - that capitalism should be scrapped for a method more humane. But no alternative has born fruit, and those that have been executed have proven disastrous.

So we must work with what we've got. The ideal of capitalism is still one worth pursuing. Admittedly, since it's onset its been marred by mercenaries bent on lining their own pockets at all others' expense.

But it doesn't have to be this way. We who believe in protecting our brothers and sisters must seize control by assuming positions of leadership. We must give ourselves up to the system to inherit its ownership.

This does not mean we should toil relentlessly in unsavory environments - at the cost of all things personal - for a chance to unseat those in power. Nor should we resort to the same underhanded tactics we detest in order to climb through corporations.

What we should do, quite simply, is practice at our jobs what we preach at home: Be good to our coworkers, offering to help them when they stumble. Be honest with our supervisors, telling them precisely what we value at work and in life. Be focused in our endeavors, seeking improvement companywide while proving our individual worth.

No, capitalism isn't inherently bad anymore than socialism is inherently good. Like everything else, it all comes down to follow-through and commitment. More than anything, our system must be infused with a spirit of renunciation, or self-denial. As Mahatma Gandhi so eloquently stated, "Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication but in the deliberate reduction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment."

Thus far, we've chosen to reward fiscal success alone, no matter how vicious. Sure we pay homage to the occasional corporate do-gooder, but it's the scheming CEO who ends up with the loot and the yacht.

This, however, is changing. To find evidence, you need look no further than the open source and free software movement taking place within technology. If you're unfamiliar with it, the gist is that anyone producing a program under an open licence must make the code available to the world. Perhaps more importantly, to be considered open source, the product license cannot restrict anyone from giving away the software and precludes demands of a royalty.

Sound ethereal? It shouldn't. Chances are, the various servers and related devices responsible for getting this page to your browser are running open source software. Already, free alternatives to once expensive application suites are making their way into mainstream use.

All of this results in a faster flow of information to those previously left out of the shuffle. It is happening because people are making the conscious decision to take a smaller piece of the pie in exchange for everyone getting a slice.

I work because it's the right thing to do.