The Importance of Work

Poet Bob Hicok on the importance of work, an excerpt from an extended interview on PBS NewsHour April 30, 2009:

“I think when you take someone who’s out of a job and you say, well, I’m going to give you a fork, and I’m going to ask you to take apart this building with that fork, if there’s money, they’re going to do it. We need to exist, we need to feed ourselves, shelter, all of that.
“But at its best work is how we connect to life, it’s how we connect to time, to how we enact our being. And you can see this in people who do work that we may not value that much….When they care about what they do, it’s apparent, and you can see a kind of wellness just speak through their body, through their being, through their bearing, that comes from having found this way to attach to existence – there is this purpose for me, there is this function that I fulfill.
“That is why I’m drawn to write about work in general, and why I come back to it in times like this, because it’s not just the paycheck that people are losing. They are very – someone without a job is very fundamentally cut adrift.”

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