The overworked American


"The world went and got itself in a big hurry." -- Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption

"We live in an economy and society that are simply demanding too much from people." --  Juliet Schor, The Overworked American.  Schor reports that work hours in America are without precedent.  Sleep and family time are spiraling down for all social classes of employed Americans.  Women working outside the home return to find a "second shift" of housework awaiting them.  Husbands are more likely than ever before to not get home before their children go to bed.  And the media tells us we need to buy more, requiring us to work more, and to improve ourselves as investors, parents, athletes, and lovers.

"The modern world of streamlined transportation, instantaneous communication, and time-saving technologies was supposed to free us from the dictates of the clock and provide us with increased leisure. Instead there never seems to be enough time. Tangential or discretionary time, once a mainstay, and amenity of life, is now a luxury." -- Jerry Rifkin, Time Wars.

Richard Swenson says that most of live our lives without margin.  "Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion." -- Richard Swenson, Margin: How to Create the Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves You Need.  We need time reserves built into our lives, a cushion of sorts between what we possibly can do, and what we actually attempt to do.

"Some people can't say no.  They take on too many relationships and too many responsibilities.  They enroll in too many courses, hold down too many jobs, volunteer for too many tasks, make too many appointments, serve on too many committees." -- J. Grant Howard.

"Hastiness and superficiality [are] the psychic diseases of the twentieth century." -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  What would he say about the 21st century?

"Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." -- Jesus (Mark 6:31)

Leave a Comment

Comments for this post have been disabled.