I´ve just been out in the car, driving around the island, enjoying the sunshine, from time to time stopping the car, jumping out to put up a poster. Freezing wind. Don´t notice from inside the car, where all is sunshiny beautiful nature to look at, whilst singing to my favourite cd.
I´m hosting an event, soon, you see. A woman I met at a course 3 years ago, she teaches kids age 1-8 how to play the fagott! She trained to learn to play the instruments in the states, from one of the world´s best fagott players. (I don´t remember his name right now, sorry about that). She also does more general music workshops, she does talks on music for adults, and she is a professional musician. As well as a storytelling poet, a trained dietist and lots of other exciting things, she´s indeed a very interesting human being.
Well, I asked her if she could come to Fanoe and do a workshop with kids here, and maybe a round of those talks she does for adults, too?! And she could and she would! So now she will come here three Wednesdays in February / March, teaching kindergarten kids in the morning, and giving talks about “The secret language of Music” in the afternoon. She´s giving it to Fanoe for a very favourable introducton price.
She will be staying at my place, since her home is a handful hours away from here. So we get some quality time together, for some meals, talks, laughs, the two of us and with my husband and kids.
And I get to be part of her courses, going to the afternoon talks and also helping out with the kindergartens kids.
What is work?
It is “the creating of value” according to the philosopher who went into the greatest depth on the concept of “work”, Karl Marx.
(For the record, I´m neither a marxist or a non marxist, I´m simply a thinking person standing on the shoulders of giants).
I have worked to make this event happen, asking the course holder, then helping fill in the fund application form, then lots of talks on details, does the kindergarten have instruments, where will we hold the adult talks (a place with a piano would be best)… A lot of communication back and forth with the 4 participating parties. Then finally creating a facebook event and hanging posters up.
Value….. worth….. I have worked without pay, one may say, but. What is pay? Money doesn´t have to be part of a situation for it to be a win win one.
My work in this case creates value for everyone involved. My friend gets a job, Fanoe Council gets a great offer and their name on the pr material, the kindergarten gets a free workshop, the kids get 3 wonderful wednesdays learning about music, the adults on the island get exciting talks on music, no entrance fee.
My pay is that I get to spend time with my friend, and watch and learn from her workshop and talks. I gain inspiration and knowledge. And more than that, it feels very good to have been a bridge between parties, who all get something good out of my spotting and seizing the opportunity. I also gain experience in organizing events.
So. What is work. Work is to create value.
Volunteer work is no less valuable than work one does for wages. Being a stay at home parent also creates a lot of value. In my view it should receive a paycheck from society. It´s an investment in the future generation that they have a parent who has time for them the first few years. But even though “society” doesn´t see it like I do (at least the middle aged, rich men who rule our society, don´t see it that way)….. even though there is no paycheck following the position of household leader, it is still a position that creates a lot of value, and it is equal to other types of work.
Me, I´m unemployed. No paid job to go to. But I most certainly work. I create value. In my two board posts, and in my setting up this event. In my parenting. In my cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping and vegetable chopping and eternal washing machine and dishwasher emptying and filling and emptying…
This blog also requires 2-3 hours every time I upload a new post. Which I aim to do at least every 2-3 days.
My sound healing practice takes time too. Is it work to be a student? HELL YEAH, I would shout. Preparing for an exam?? That´s a lot more energy costly than turning up at a factory or office 9-5 every day, I dare say. Studying takes a lot of time, and focus. You´re never really off, free, finished, until the exam is passed in a month or year´s time.
Parenting too is more costly than going to a workplace and be with other adults and do what one is told. No one interrupting you in what you try to focus on, no one asking for you to find this or that or just carry them every five minutes day and night. Parenting is WORK. The most intense work I ever had, and the most rewarding too. Work.
I don´t mean this derrogatory to the people who work in an office or factory, though. I too have had jobs. Money is necessary. Jobs are good, many of them. I´m just saying that in my experience, the jobs I have had, required a lot less of me than parenting and studying did.
I don´t mean to generalize. Ever. Many factors matter in each individual case. No need for oversimplifications. I´m just drawing some lines from my own life experience, and maybe it can inspire some thoughts in you who read it. Like I am inspired when I read other people´s thoughts on their experiences.
To work or not to work. Is a silly question. Every human being who is not depressed or anxious due to violence from other people… Every healthy and happy human being wants to work! Wants to create value. It´s like we´re designed to be little creators. That big bang must probably be an all mighty one to make this whole wide world come alive, huh. :o)
Life is valuable. Time is valuable.
“Say you don´t want no diamond ring, and I´ll be satisfied.
Tell me that you want the kind of things
that money just can´t buy.
Coz I don´t care too much for money,
money can´t buy me love.”
When we talk about the rich and the poor, the haves and the havenots… the real currency in my book, is love.
If a person has all the money ever printed, but no love, is it a rich person? Is it a happy person? Is life valuable to that person? When I pretend to stand in such a person´s shoes, which is my regular exercise when I want to watch with empathy at something… with no love in my life, no gratitude, no warm smiles, no authentic sharing with anyone… money would not mean a thing. I would feel cold inside. Sad and lonely. Poor. Unalive. Like the things that money can buy.
Work and money are two separate things.
Work and love are two interconnected things.
The feelgood of creating… value… to contribute… increasing the good…
Nothing wrong with money, either, though. For goodness sake. That´s not my point. I have nothing against money. Bring it on, the more the merrier. I don´t buy that money is the root of all evil.
My point is just that this habbit we seem to have, of thinking hierarchically, pyramid shaped, that the work that is paid for in money, is worth more than the work that is paid for in other currencies… it is an illusion.
There is no better than. There is no more worthy people and other less worthy people. We have to get over this idiotic narrowmindedness. We are all equal.
So let´s all just be proud of ourselves that we do our best, and allow our neighbours and siblings to do their best in the way that they themselves define it. This would be respectful.
And it would be treating everyone as equally valuable.
Equal value creators.
It would make our existence work better.
Work more peacefully.
This, in turn, would create a big value.
To all of us, equally.