The Desire to be Disabled and the Loss of Meaning

 

AcediaFor the life of me I cannot figure out why anyone would want to be disabled. I am among the accursed numbers of those unable to work, having been felled seven years ago after a nearly fifty-year fight with rheumatoid arthritis. (Thankfully, my law firm provided disability insurance, which keeps me off the government dole.) At the risk of singing my own praises, I have willingly submitted to being a guinea pig for a host of treatments, some of which have potentially deadly side effects (a duel at dawn with anyone who pities me). I did this because I needed not merely to feed my family, but because work, properly understood, offers a sense of purpose which keeps the Eternal Footman at bay. But the disease finally won the day. I am a lawyer by trade, and one little-known reality is that practicing law is highly demanding, not only mentally, but physically. I never really enjoyed my chosen occupation. Fighting for a living, especially trivial battles like petty arguments and personally insulting rhetoric, will tax the most patient of men. But the intellectual work was rewarding. I miss that.

These past few years, then, have not always been a joy. Yes, I have a wonderful life with my loving wife, devoted children (even though they call me “Old Guy”), and two fantastic granddaughters. But work is an essential need of man: Not only as a means of material production, but as a spiritual and psychological route towards acquiring virtue. Plus, while I don’t know whether there are statistics to back this up, from personal experience with others forced into early retirement, life expectancy drops when work comes to an end.

Why, then, are the Social Security Disability rolls growing at incomprehensible rates? We live in an extraordinarily safe world. Modern medicine does much more than keep us alive. It allows us to stay productive through illnesses that, just a few short years ago, would have quickly knocked us out of the game. As for the risks in life, my new car has eleven airbags and enough safety technology to ward offer nearly every danger. I’m safer in my car than nearly anywhere else. So what is it about work that has so many seeking an excuse to run away? Why would anyone want to be disabled?

Not long ago, being disabled was a kind of defeat, considered shameful even by those who were truly sick or injured. My dad and my father-in-law continued to work virtually until the day they died, so groomed were they in the ethic of toil as essential to a good life. Although bedridden, my dad continue to make telephone sales calls and my father-in-law still did the books for his small business. For them, there was a spiritual connection in work. It’s not that they believed work to be the sole end of life. They simply understood that there is no inalienable right to call it quits before the bell tolls.

But that steely-eyed view of work has greatly weakened in the present age. The causes are many. The nanny state, which rewards the lazy with the fruits of the laborers, is the most frequently cited reason for the increased welfare rolls (and SSD is welfare, even for the truly lame). Yet that alone seems too superficial. Instead, the root of the problem is more a shift in attitude away from the idea of self-sufficiency as the true essence of freedom and toward an ethic that sees freedom from life’s troubles as the summum bonum. As Patrick Deneen explains in Ethika Politika, there is today a vision of liberty as liberation from toil. Addressing “The Life of Julia,” a political advertisement for the reelection of Barack Obama in which Julia is coddled from birth to death by the glorious state, he writes:

It turns out that the real problem is liberty itself—especially a vision of liberty unaccompanied by concrete duties and responsibilities to one another, whose ideal is abstract relationships increasingly and ever-more comprehensively mediated through the State. Because for Julia ( and the denizen of the modern liberal state) our truest liberty is achieved when it protects us from any particular obligations, responsibilities, and duties—a condition best guaranteed by the abstract relationships mediated through the modern nation state.

But what has brought about the notion that life should be free from effort, and that we have some fundamental right to be relieved of all burdens, especially that of work? Although the lazy will always be with us, the phenomenon cannot be explained solely by a tendency towards laggardness. At a deeper level, there seems to be a modern lurch towards sloth. Or perhaps the better term is acedia, which monks refer to as “the noonday devil” who saps spiritual energy and with it, as R. J. Snell writes in his book Acedia and Its Discontents, sinks the sufferer into a world emptied of meaning. Work loses its point as the person beset by acedia seeks escape from the world of demands, uncertain outcomes, and oftentimes obscure purposes.

This exceedingly dangerous and deadly vice destroys even the desire to find meaning in one’s labors. So acute is acedia that the victim will search for anything that might distract him from the search for meaning. Life is hollowed out when it becomes impossible to even think about what can and should be done for oneself.

This, it seems to me, is at the heart of the growing desire to find an excuse to drop out of the labor force. When life has no meaning, it logically follows that effort becomes pointless while the search for distractions becomes preeminent. Drugs, chronic gambling, alcohol abuse, and a vast number of other moral maladies are often the wages of acedia.

I would also suggest that the desire for freedom from work arises, above all other things, from a loss of the religious sense, by which I do not mean theism per se, but a longing for transcendence, with all the pain and frustration associated with it. When we see life as far more than Schopenhauer’s gloomy “brief intermezzo of an ephemeral existence,” we are spurred on in the effort to make life meaningful, both for ourselves and for those we love. We then throw ourselves into life. We have meaning and thus an overwhelming need to work, whether at a job, at true leisure, or just in the mundane tasks of picking up after ourselves. A life filled with transcendence is open to all possibility and there is, therefore, always something one can do — even when one is in extremis.

The Catholic Church teaches that work is a participation in God’s ongoing creation. Our labors are therefore purposeful. The modern tendency to despise work is just one manifestation of a loss of the thickness of life as a sacred vocation. If Deneen is right, and the new definition of freedom is to be unshackled from work and responsibility, we can also expect the rootlessness that is the essence of the man who, as Kierkegaard wrote, does not even know he is in despair.

This might also explain the popularity of Bernie Sanders, especially among the young. Sanders appeals to the sort of alienation behind the desire to receive the largesse of the industrious without the concomitant obligation to invest in the productive world. No work and all play is the dreamy life which so many long for. This in turn suggests that to willingly sacrifice a productive life is to surrender one’s sense of purpose and to succumb to what Charles Taylor called “the terrible flatness of the everyday.” No hills, no valleys, just a featureless path through a land of distracted boredom.

The crisis of growing idleness will not, I fear, be remedied by reforming the welfare system. Aside from the fact that it will be politically impossible to slash government given the constituency that receives its sustenance from government (I’ll make book that current efforts to reform SSD will fail in the long run), there must be a reorientation away from acedia and from a vision of life that sees the highest good in being delivered from life’s struggles. Instead, we need to restore the understanding of life as vocation, and hence charged with meaning and purpose, and thereby open ourselves to a life in which there is always more to do. That also means that as long as he is able man must fulfill his earthly duty to work — even if he does nothing more than write for Ricochet as a hobby.

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  1. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Play has replaced work as the arena.

    • #1
  2. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Also, particularly in “the institutions”, people tend to retire to their graves.

    • #2
  3. Derek Simmons Member
    Derek Simmons
    @

    Mike Rapkoch:When life has no meaning, it logically follows that effort becomes pointless while the search for distractions becomes preeminent. Drugs, chronic gambling, alcohol abuse, and a vast number of other moral maladies are often the wages of acedia.

    I would also suggest that the desire for freedom from work arises, above all other things, from a loss of the religious sense, by which I do not mean theism per se, but a longing for transcendence, with all the pain and frustration associated with it…….Instead, we need to restore the understanding of life as vocation, and hence charged with meaning and purpose, and thereby open ourselves to a life in which there is always more to do…………….

    But to restore an understanding of life as vocation we must understand that a calling requires a Caller.

    • #3
  4. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Very well said Mike.

    St. Joseph the Worker, ora pro nobis.

    • #4
  5. Fred Williams Inactive
    Fred Williams
    @FredWilliams

    Nice work.  Enlightening in many respects.  The only post that has distracted me from the Scalia remembrances.

    • #5
  6. Shelley Nolan Inactive
    Shelley Nolan
    @ShelleyNolan

    I thoroughly appreciate your essay. Having read Charles Murray’s piece yesterday “Trump’s America” I discover my own feeling mirrored again in yours. Your final sentence is sterling. But I think answers to why this is happening are found in Charles Murray’s analysis. People are feeling defeated, repudiated and demonized by multiple grievous groups as well as the decisions being made by the ruling class both political and corporate. The American ethos is being sapped away. Although it appears writers on Ricochet are diametrically opposed to Trumpism, it is the child of the Tea Party Movement born out of the frustrations of 2007 that is to say, W, his administration and that Congress. I speak of the early Tea Party before the ‘movers and shakers’ took over. Let not your heart be troubled, listen to Larry Kudlow on http://ricochet.com/series/ricochet-podcast/   He’s giving an inside look at Trump’s character.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Thanks, Mike. In a way, writing can be a new work and new vocation.

    • #7
  8. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    I think about this topic a lot.  The funny thing about work is that if allowed, we all kind of want to get out of it just like we did as kids.  It’s hard, it involves a lot of struggle, and we’d rather just do what we want to do.  And yet, you are right that life is somewhat meaningless without it.  It’s especially meaningful to work on behalf of people we love.  I will, however, take issue with Charles Taylor and the “terrible flatness of the everyday.”  The maintenance of the everyday requires a lot of work, and it is worthy work that a wise person enjoys and appreciates.  We absolutely need the larger purposes, but we should also take pleasure in the neatly folded and sweet-smelling laundry, the lovingly prepared meal, the attractive room all neat and clean, and of course, especially the job, tedious as it sometimes is, of raising our precious children.  Seeing and enjoying the everyday as part of the eternal scheme is essential to a happy and satisfying life IMHO.

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  9. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    I have a lot of sympathy for your difficult situation, Mike.  I myself cannot figure out how to retire, and I count myself fortunate not to have yet been pushed into it. But since as a massage therapist I work with many people who are desperately trying to rid themselves of disabilities, I must say that I think there are very few with true disabilities who desire to have them.   There are many, however, without the resources to overcome them, and many others for whom applying for disability status looks like their only choice.

    Nevertheless you rightly and well describe the the widespread desire for extensive time for leisure, and I like your thoughtful explanation. The irony is that our culture appears to offer unlimited opportunity for purposeful work.  Perhaps humankind is not up to living without limits.

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  10. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    Sandy, I do think that in our highly automated world, it is hard for a great many people to find paid work, especially work that supports a family.  This is one reason why the nation is, as Charles Murray posits, coming apart.

    • #10
  11. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Mike, I don’t think most people want choices. Indeed, they fear having to make choices, in part because they fear the unknown.

    This is why blind people often fight against technologies that can help them see. Why slaves can be the first to turn on the fellow who tries to free them. The status quo is the preferred alternative to a dynamic roller-coaster life.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mike Rapkoch: Instead, we need to restore the understanding of life as vocation, and hence charged with meaning and purpose, and thereby open ourselves to a life in which there is always more to do. That also means that as long as he is able man must fulfill his earthly duty to work — even if he does nothing more than write for Ricochet as a hobby.

    You’ve written a very valuable post here, Mike. And you’ve hit on a lot of important ideas. Instead of religion motivating us to fulfill our personal and G-d’s mission, we have put leisure as the ultimate aspiration. Work is now denigrated and avoided. Even my father, when he retired (he died many years ago) told my husband that he was so glad to retire because now he could do nothing. It was very sad. Fortunately his attitude didn’t affect my own values. My husband and I worked hard to be financially stable. So my time is filled with outward activities (meditation group, T’ai Chi Chih group, short-term TCC workshop, and occasional hospice volunteer) and inward through my personal prayer and meditation practices and Torah study. I feel hugely blessed that I have found a way to nurture the inner and outer, all volunteer work. And you are right: we are going to have a desperate nation that has all this time on their hands and a meaningless existence without purpose. What will fill that void? It’s quite frightening.

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  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Mike Rapkoch:  This in turn suggests that to willingly sacrifice a productive life is to surrender one’s sense of purpose and to succumb to what Charles Taylor called “the terrible flatness of the everyday.” No hills, no valleys, just a featureless path through a land of distracted boredom.

    Merina Smith: I will, however, take issue with Charles Taylor and the “terrible flatness of the everyday.” The maintenance of the everyday requires a lot of work, and it is worthy work that a wise person enjoys and appreciates. We absolutely need the larger purposes, but we should also take pleasure in the neatly folded and sweet-smelling laundry…

    Certainly, the maintenance of the everyday requires a lot of work. Enough, in fact, that, without servants, it is sometimes necessary to willingly surrender your sense of purpose and a productive calling simply not to burden others with your maintenance of the everyday.

    Let’s not pretend this isn’t a loss.

    As someone who herself struggled to avoid being classified as “disabled” from an early age, it hasn’t been hard to sense the tension in the middle-class mentality I was raised to have: that good people should “have it all” – should not only pursue a profession, but should also maintain the everyday without outside help, and that failure to do both is moral failure. Well, moral failure it might be, but it’s also a trade off: the time spent maintaining “the rest of life” (house, body, and so forth) so as not to burden others is also time not spent in overtime at the office, researching a thesis, or raking in the big bucks.

    I remember John Derbyshire reflecting that, contrary to a popular stereotype, the great mathematicians generally enjoyed robust health (or at least at the height of their creative powers) – the kind of vigorous physical energy that makes choosing between “the maintenance of the everyday” and intense intellectual exertion less of a trade-off. I also recall Theodore Dalrymple’s reflections on working in Rhodesia:

    We worked hard: I have never worked harder, and I can still conjure up the heavy feeling in my head, as if it were full of lead-shot and could snap off my neck under its own weight… The luxury of our life was this: that, our work once done, we never had to perform a single chore for ourselves [thanks to t]he staff who freed us of life’s little inconveniences…

    Dalrymple is in a sense right to call the opportunity to work so hard at one’s profession, unbothered by “the rest of life”, a luxury. On the other hand, it’s sometimes a luxury worth having. For many of us, it may be morally right to give up on a profession because the maintenance of the everyday demands it. But perhaps not for all of us. And I think it’s reasonable for those who’ve had to choose to have moral doubts.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: For many of us, it may be morally right to give up on a profession because the maintenance of the everyday demands it. But perhaps not for all of us. And I think it’s reasonable for those who’ve had to choose to have moral doubts.

    So beautiful and so true, MFR. I am physically able to participate in a number of activities, and it would be very difficult to me to give them up. At the same time, part of my personal mission is to do the simple things at home: washing the dishes, cooking meals, having a conversation with my husband and truly listening. These small things are so very important. And one day, my husband or I may become incapacitated. I hope that we are able to realize that we have much to contribute outside of social or cultural norms.

    • #14
  15. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle
    @SusaninSeattle

    Excellent post, Mike; thank you.

    • #15
  16. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    Midge, I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying, but I don’t think it is a moral failure to get help with mundane tasks when you have physical disabilities, or even if you don’t and want to  do other things with your life.  My family is a poster child for that.  Our division of labor has allowed my husband to excel at his career. For many years most everything mundane fell to me.  I won’t say that wasn’t hard in many ways, because I had dreams for my life that were beyond the mundane as well, but at the same time I took and still take a lot of joy in the mundane. That joy has made my life a lot happier.  And, since there are seasons to life, I now have the leisure to pursue many of the activities that were once impossible for me.   It was a whole lot of mundane that produced my greatest joy in life–my children and grandchildren.  The mundane things I did for them–and still do–have given them skills–musical, practical and the like–and happy memories of good meals, fun holidays, an attractive home, a garden with flowers, family activities and all the rest.  In other words, in every life, the mundane and eternal mix in mysterious ways.

    • #16
  17. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Mike Rapkoch: But work is an essential need of man: Not only as a means of material production, but as a spiritual and psychological route towards acquiring virtue.

    I don’t know. Man needs purpose (a “life’s project,” if you will), yes, but work, defined as employment, is merely a means. We work to fund life’s more important endeavors — caring for family, enjoying friendship, learning, worshiping (for the religious among us), reading Ricochet, and so on.

    Josef Pieper’s Leisure: The Basis of Culture is worth quoting:

    Cut off from the worship of the divine, leisure becomes laziness and work inhuman.

    That is the origin or source of all sham forms of leisure, with their strong family resemblance to want of leisure and to sloth (in its old metaphysical and theological sense). The vacancy left by absence of worship is filled by mere killing of time and by boredom, which is directly related to inability to enjoy leisure; for one can only be bored if the spiritual power to be leisurely has been lost.

    Replace “worship” with “contemplation,” and Pieper’s point, I think, still stands.

    • #17
  18. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    It has often been pointed out that the High Priest in G-d’s House included among his most important duties the job of removing the ashes and sweeping. Creating and maintaining the right domestic environment is holy work.

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  19. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Susan Quinn: we are going to have a desperate nation that has all this time on their hands and a meaningless existence without purpose. What will fill that void? It’s quite frightening.

    A lot of people (especially young and energetic people) find that doing nothing is quite challenging.

    Radical Islam is happy to fill that void.

    • #19
  20. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Merina Smith: Midge, I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying, but I don’t think it is a moral failure to get help with mundane tasks when you have physical disabilities, or even if you don’t and want to do other things with your life.

    You may not – and I congratulate you on your eminent good sense.

    But there is a type of middle-class person who does. And while this type runs strong in my family, it does not seem to be limited to my family.

    And if one does think it’s a moral failing to not manage both the mundane and a “higher calling” with aplomb, it’s not hard for despair to set in. And despair breeds acedia.

    • #20
  21. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Merina Smith: Midge, I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying, but I don’t think it is a moral failure to get help with mundane tasks when you have physical disabilities, or even if you don’t and want to do other things with your life.

    You may not – and I congratulate you on your eminent good sense.

    But there is a type of middle-class person who does. And while this type runs strong in my family, it does not seem to be limited to my family.

    And if one does think it’s a moral failing to not manage both the mundane and a “higher calling” with aplomb, it’s not hard for despair to set in. And despair breeds acedia.

    I’d be a hypocrite if I thought getting help is a moral failing because I hire a housekeeper, yard maintenance people, a pool person, and of course plumbers, electricians and the like when needed!

    • #21
  22. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Merina Smith: I’d be a hypocrite if I thought getting help is a moral failing because I hire a housekeeper, yard maintenance people, a pool person, and of course plumbers, electricians and the like when needed!

    Ah. Yeah. We come from a family of DIY-ers. As in, if you don’t do it yourself, you’re admitting moral defeat. This (sometimes with unfortunate results) has included electricity and plumbing (oh, and also taxes – I swear CPAs do more to prevent divorce than we know!)

    A cleaning lady once or twice a month is admittedly practical, but still considered admitting defeat – and anyhow, her main purpose is arguably to frighten the residents of the house into doing pre-cleaning before she even gets there!

    • #22
  23. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Mike Rapkoch: I am among the accursed numbers of those unable to work

    I agree with everything you wrote in your post except for this. As you noted at the end,

    That also means that as long as he is able man must fulfill his earthly duty to work — even if he does nothing more than write for Ricochet as a hobby.

    You write and comment here often, and with insight. I’m certain there is also much important work you do outside of Ricochet. Embrace this more expansive definition of work.

    As to your larger point about work and liberty, we can only hope that people will rediscover the joys and satisfactions of work well done versus the sloth. Arthur Brooks tells us that earned success is the happiness:

    Earned success means defining your future as you see fit and achieving that success on the basis of merit and hard work. It allows you to measure your life’s “profit” however you want, be it in money, making beautiful music, or helping people learn English. Earned success is at the root of American exceptionalism. The link between earned success and life satisfaction is well established by researchers.

    The opposite of earned success is “learned helplessness,”… It refers to what happens if rewards and punishments are not tied to merit: People simply give up and stop trying to succeed.

    To put it another way, the alternative is fat, dumb, and happy. Or maybe just fat and dumb.

    • #23
  24. Merina Smith Inactive
    Merina Smith
    @MerinaSmith

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Merina Smith: I’d be a hypocrite if I thought getting help is a moral failing because I hire a housekeeper, yard maintenance people, a pool person, and of course plumbers, electricians and the like when needed!

    Ah. Yeah. We come from a family of DIY-ers. As in, if you don’t do it yourself, you’re admitting moral defeat. This (sometimes with unfortunate results) has included electricity and plumbing (oh, and also taxes – I swear CPAs do more to prevent divorce than we know!)

    A cleaning lady once or twice a month is admittedly practical, but still considered admitting defeat – and anyhow, her main purpose is arguably to frighten the residents of the house into doing pre-cleaning before she even gets there!

    Ha–this made me laugh because I do scurry through the house putting things away in front on the housekeeper! But I love it as my day to get organized, pay the bills, wash the car, do the ironing, sort the socks.  That day re-centers my life every other week.  Then every morning for the next two weeks I do my “morning work” of straightening again so that I can make my messes during the day without guilt.  I like to do crafts and quilting, so freedom to make messes is necessary.

    I feel for you–family pressure sure can be intense.  I come from a long line of pioneer DIYers, but after I recognized the wonder of having a housekeeper, to my great astonishment, I convinced my Mom to get one!  Am trying to convince my daughter as well. She needs to spend her time writing and raising wild boys!  I don’t see anything wrong with not telling your family that you hire people to do things.  And it is certainly worth it to avoid depression and discouragement.

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    drlorentz: As to your larger point about work and liberty, we can only hope that people will rediscover the joys and satisfactions of work well done versus the sloth

    This is so important, drlorentz. Recognizing the rewards, however subtle, is so satisfying. Having people thank me for opening my house for meditation; the look on a person’s face when he or she “gets” a movement; the sweet disclosures during our discussion periods that reflect the safety that people feel in opening up. The very fact that people keep showing up for activities! So you may call Ricochet your hobby, Mike, but no one else calls it that–at least I don’t. It is work, with accolades you receive well-earned. The comments you get, the feedback, the fact that people look for your posts–all of those tell you that you are producing value: that your work has meaning.

    • #25
  26. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Merina Smith: I feel for you–family pressure sure can be intense. I come from a long line of pioneer DIYers, but after I recognized the wonder of having a housekeeper, to my great astonishment, I convinced my Mom to get one! Am trying to convince my daughter as well…

    Fortunately, I married a man – an economist – who takes a much more sensible view of these trade-offs than my natal family does. One reason we’ve stayed in our poky apartment as long as we have is to save up for help when children come. The main moral hurdle may be overcoming my own “guilt” about outsourcing domestic tasks… Honestly, I rail against this guilt because I still feel it – even though I don’t believe it’s rational that I should.

    • #26
  27. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Susan Quinn, Mike’s post also put me in mind of your post on Viktor Frankl. As he wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning,

    Those who have a why to live, can bear with almost any how.

    Work, broadly understood, is a big part of the why.

    • #27
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The main moral hurdle may be overcoming my own “guilt” about outsourcing domestic tasks…

    I’m with Merina on this point. I’ve hired people to clean for years. I don’t hate housecleaning. It’s just not how I want to spend my time. IMHO, my being a good housecleaner would count for very little. If I had to do it, I would, and I’d do it well. But I’d much rather read to educate myself, make my husband his favorite meal, or write a piece for Ricochet. Those are much more valuable uses of my time!

    • #28
  29. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Fortunately, I married a man – an economist – who takes a much more sensible view of these trade-offs than my natal family does.

    It seems to me that economists tend to have a more clear-eyed view of human nature and behavior than most folks, especially most social scientists.

    • #29
  30. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    drlorentz:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Fortunately, I married a man – an economist – who takes a much more sensible view of these trade-offs than my natal family does.

    It seems to me that economists tend to have a more clear-eyed view of human nature and behavior than most folks, especially most social scientists.

    I am glad to be married to one!

    • #30
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