ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE MIDLAND STUDY IN EMPLOYEE PUBLICATION WE ARE THE LEARNERS
By Harry Levinson, Director Division of Industrial Mental Health The Menninger Foundation
WORK is one of the most important aspects of living. Not only do we spend nearly half of our waking hours at work, but what we do has very deep meaning for us.
Obviously, work provides our bread and butter, our homes, and our TV sets. But our work also brings us into contact with certain other people who may become friends and associates. Our work often determines where we live; we can only be a certain distance away from the job, and we live in houses and neighborhoods we can afford. Our conversations with our friends and neighbors frequently concern our work.
Work is our most direct tie with the world around us. Through our work we act on our environment and change it to meet our needs. For example, we create electricity, an event which completely changes how we live. Through our work also we earn our social places in our communities. We are known as linemen, engineers, secretaries, foremen or as whatever we do which makes a contribution to the total welfare of our friends and neighbors.
Work has much to do with how we feel about ourselves. During the depression of the '30's many men who couldn't find jobs felt completely useless as human beings. Some created little jobs around their homes just to be doing work -- any kind of work. A man's work gives him a sense of being an adult, a sense of contributing to his fellow men.
Work is a key factor in knowing what goes on about us. In a few days of sickness at home or in the hospital we feel that we have been isolated and that we need to catch up on the news. Through association with others in our work we have contact with changing events --