你對工作的看法是什麼?──WHAT IS YOUR PERCEPTION OF WORK?

MONDAY MANNA

當我們持續面對新冠肺炎全球疫情的衝擊時,我們的工作,和我們對工作的看法,都受到了嚴重的影響。我們當中許多人,多少都學會了在家工作的樂趣以及帶來的挑戰。有些人的工作內容開始有巨大的調整,而另一些人則是因為經濟減緩而暫時被資遣,甚至失去了工作。

上述因素促使我們重新評估對工作的態度和看法:到底工作的意義是什麼,為什麼要做工作,我們到底在工作中能夠期待什麼。難道工作就如某些人所說,只是一種「必要的邪惡」,如果可能就盡量避免呢?還是僅僅是為了「謀生」——產生收入來支付賬單、滿足需求,並維持期望的生活方式呢?或者有超越更多的層面-工作是否有內在益處,可以幫助我們找到意義、價值和目的呢?

一位有小聰明的人這麼說:「我喜歡工作這件事。我可以坐著看人們工作一整天。」你是否有共鳴——認為工作就是件好事,只要是「別人」努力付出代價就好了。

加拿大最大的銀行——加拿大皇家銀行的總裁兼執行長大衛.麥凱(David McKay)對工作提出了更為肯定的觀點:「我們必須認知,有榮幸去工作是一份禮物,有能力去工作是一個祝福,能夠熱愛工作就是成功。」在這份簡短的聲明中,他將工作與許多有趣的概念聯結在一起:工作是榮幸、禮物、祝福,而且如果你樂在其中,也會成功。每個觀念都值得深思和仔細探究。

信不信由你,曾經有一段時間,工作是既不辛苦,也沒有充滿挫折的。根據聖經舊約的創世記,當上帝創造第一個人類:亞當和夏娃時,他們的「工作場所」伊甸園,是一個美好、恬靜舒適的環境。「神就賜福給他們,又對他們說:『要生養眾多,遍滿地面,治理這地,也要管理海裏的魚、空中的鳥,和地上各樣行動的活物……我將遍地上一切結種子的菜蔬和一切樹上所結有核的果子全賜給你們作食物。』」(創世記1章28-29節)

曾經一切都很完美,但後來亞當和夏娃搞砸了。他們違背了上帝的命令,吃了「分別善惡樹」上的果實。(創世紀3章17節)他們悖逆的後果一直延續到今天:「地必為你的緣故受咒詛;你必終身勞苦才能從地裏得吃的……你必汗流滿面才得糊口。」(創世記3章17-19節)

所以,無論是在傳統的辦公環境中、坐飛機出差或是在家工作,當事情不如意時,我們都可以「感謝」亞當和夏娃,因為他們是始作俑者!但這是否意味著:我們每天都該用又哭又叫、抱怨開始每一天的工作,只因為工作很辛苦呢?我們可以如此,或是我們也可以像麥凱所說的,選擇把工作視為榮幸、禮物和祝福。然後捲起袖子,付出必要的努力。

商業顧問提姆.凱特(Tim Kight)觀察到:「醫生不能使你變健康。營養師不能使你變苗條。老師不能使你變聰明。健身教練不能使你身材變好。他們可以提供幫助,但是你必須要擔起責任,付出努力。」當我們這樣做時,就能享受自己流汗的果實,並從工作的成果中得到成就感。

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 閱讀本篇週一嗎哪之前,你如何描述自己對工作的態度?
  2. 你認為人們對每週都要花費大把時間投入的工作的觀點有多重要?我們對工作的觀點真的會造成任何影響嗎?請說明原因。
  3. 大衛.麥凱(David McKay)說工作是一種榮幸、禮物和祝福。你覺得這些說法和我們每天在職場上面對的挑戰與挫折有什麼關係?
  4. 整體來說,或針對你現在的工作狀況,如果要改變自己對工作的一個看法,你覺得會是什麼?請解釋你的答案。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考(因經文篇幅較長,請參閱未列出的經文箴言10:5、傳道書1:1-2、9-11)

創世記1章27-31節
1:27  神就照著自己的形像造人,乃是照著他的形像造男造女。
1:28  神就賜福給他們,又對他們說:「要生養眾多,遍滿地面,治理這地,也要管理海裏的魚、空中的鳥,和地上各樣行動的活物。」
1:29  神說:「看哪,我將遍地上一切結種子的菜蔬和一切樹上所結有核的果子全賜給你們作食物。
1:30 至於地上的走獸和空中的飛鳥,並各樣爬在地上有生命的物,我將青草賜給牠們作食物。」事就這樣成了。
1:31  神看著一切所造的都甚好。有晚上,有早晨,是第六日。
箴言12章24節
12:24 殷勤人的手必掌權;懶惰的人必服苦。
箴言22章29節
22:29 你看見辦事殷勤的人嗎?他必站在君王面前,必不站在下賤人面前。
傳道書 2章4-11節
2:4 我為自己動大工程,建造房屋,栽種葡萄園,
2:5 修造園囿,在其中栽種各樣果木樹;
2:6 挖造水池,用以澆灌嫩小的樹木。
2:7 我買了僕婢,也有生在家中的僕婢;又有許多牛群羊群,勝過以前在耶路撒冷眾人所有的。
2:8 我又為自己積蓄金銀和君王的財寶,並各省的財寶;又得唱歌的男女和世人所喜愛的物,並許多的妃嬪。
2:9 這樣,我就日見昌盛,勝過以前在耶路撒冷的眾人。我的智慧仍然存留。
2:10 凡我眼所求的,我沒有留下不給它的;我心所樂的,我沒有禁止不享受的;因我的心為我一切所勞碌的快樂,這就是我從勞碌中所得的分。
2:11 後來,我察看我手所經營的一切事和我勞碌所成的功。誰知都是虛空,都是捕風;在日光之下毫無益處。
傳道書2章24-26節
2:24 人莫強如吃喝,且在勞碌中享福,我看這也是出於 神的手。
2:25 論到吃用、享福,誰能勝過我呢?
2:26  神喜悅誰,就給誰智慧、知識,和喜樂;惟有罪人, 神使他勞苦,叫他將所收聚的、所堆積的歸給 神所喜悅的人。這也是虛空,也是捕風。
傳道書 5章18節
5:18 我所見為善為美的,就是人在 神賜他一生的日子吃喝,享受日光之下勞碌得來的好處,因為這是他的分。


WHAT IS YOUR PERCEPTION OF WORK?

By Robert J. Tamasy

As we continue to deal with the repercussions of the global COVID-19 pandemic, our work – and how we perceive it – has been dramatically affected. Many of us, if we had not already been doing so, have learned the joys and challenges of working from home. Some have seen their job descriptions modified dramatically, while others have lost jobs or have been laid off temporarily due to economic slowdowns.

All of these factors have prompted many of us to re-evaluate our attitudes and perceptions of work: what it means, why we do it, and what we expect from it. Is work, as some would describe it, merely “a necessary evil” that they would like to avoid if it were possible? Is it just “earning a living” – generating income to pay bills, meet needs and support a desired lifestyle? Or is there more to it than that – does work have intrinsic value that can help us to find meaning, worth and purpose?

One clever person gave this assessment: “I love work. I can sit and watch people doing it all day.” Is this statement mirror you feel, that work is good – as long as someone else is expending the effort?

David McKay, president and CEO of RBC, Canada’s largest bank, has offered a much more affirming perspective on work: “Let us recognize that the privilege to work is a gift, that the power to work is a blessing, and that love of work is success.” In this brief statement he connects work with a number of intriguing concepts: that it is a privilege, a gift, a blessing, and success – if you love doing it. Each is deserving of consideration and elaboration.

Believe it or not, there was a time when work was not drudgery, when it was not fraught with frustration. According to the Bible’s Old Testament book of Genesis, when God created the first people – Adam and Eve – their “workplace,” Eden, was a wonderful, idyllic setting. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every living creature that moves on the ground…. I will give you ever seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food….’” (Genesis 1:28-29).

It was a perfect arrangement, but then Adam and Eve messed it up. They defied God’s command to not eat the fruit of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 3:17). The consequences of their act of rebellion is still being felt today: “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” (Genesis 3:17-19).

So when we go to work, whether in a traditional office setting, traveling through airports, or reporting to a work station in our homes, and things are not going well, we can all thank Adam and Eve. They started it! But does this mean we should begin each workday kicking and screaming, grumbling because work is hard? We can take that approach. Or as McKay said, we can choose to view it as a privilege, a gift, and a blessing. Then roll up our sleeves and put forth the required effort.

Business consultant Tim Kight has observed, “Doctors don’t make you healthy. Nutritionists don’t make you slim. Teachers don’t make you smart. Trainers don’t make you fit. They help, but you must take responsibility and do the work.” When we do this, we can enjoy the fruits of our labors and feel the satisfaction of a job well done.

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1.  Before you read this “Monday Manna,” how would you have described your attitude toward your work? 
  2. What do you think is the importance of one’s perspective toward their job, especially since it typically consumes a sizable percentage of our time each week? Do our perspective really matter? Why or why not?
  3. David McKay speaks about work being a privilege, a gift, and a blessing. How do you react to hearing those terms associated with the everyday challenges and frustrations we all experience in the workplace?
  4. If you were to change one thing about your perception of work – in general, or in your current situation specifically – what would it be? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Genesis 1:27-31; Proverbs 10:5, 12:24, 22:29; Ecclesiastes 1:1-2,9-11, 2:4-11,24-26, 5:18


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