Unworthy works – Diario El Heraldo

Not all jobs are worthy, there are some that are frankly shameful, and I am not referring to those that involve a crime or are questioned from morals. They are shameful despite what has always been said, that work dignifies the person and that no one should have any complex of the activity they do to earn a living.

But shame does not have to do with the work carried out in itself, but with the possibilities that a job offers for people to develop fully. Logically, it implies the remuneration, the time, how much physical and mental well-being that job allows, among other factors.

A job, whatever it may be, becomes unworthy when it does not allow the person to fulfill their primary needs, which have a broader scope than is usually assumed: it even involves entertainment. Remuneration must be considered in the middle of a context, since there may be a salary that is not so high, but that combined with a low cost of living allows people to meet their needs without problem. The equation is very simple: the higher the cost of living, the higher the wages should be.

In some cases it is possible that people manage to cover the basic needs of the human being with their earnings or their salary, however, this may imply an overload of work reflected in hours. The individual is reduced to work activity, which if it were a vocational matter I think could be an understandable fact, but if not, it is a reduction of the person, and therefore an unworthy job. It is the typical paradox of paying a large mortgage on a house that, due to what you have to work for, you only get to sleep.

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The other factor involved is how much physical and mental health a workplace offers. No human being deserves an overload in any sense, and to accept it in exchange for money is again to reduce the human being to a single factor: money in this case. It means that health has a price, it is exchangeable for a few tickets. There will be an overlap of the market on the individual, a clear contradiction with the meaning that in recent centuries (perhaps since the Renaissance) has been trying to give life.

It is probable that in some cases dignity has been confused with appearance, but it is just the opposite: the essence. Any employment that contradicts, misrepresents or breaks with the essence of the human being must be considered unworthy.

It all comes down to, then, how happy a person can be playing a role in society. That is where perhaps there is an intrinsic dignity, in which the human being, whenever he works, is fulfilling a social function, but that rather is a dignity of the collective and even of the other.

It is very likely that the jobs popularly known as “simple” or “humble” coincide with these characteristics that I have just listed, but it is just that, a coincidence and it does not have to be a rule. There are unworthy jobs at all levels, some are paid with the story of conformism: “at least there is work”, others with the story of success (based on consumerism): “only with enormous effort can success be achieved”, some others with the story of heroism: “the important thing is recognition”, and some perhaps even with the story of dignity: “all work is worthy”.

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