Unlearning the Protestant Work Ethic

An image of Alida’s hands potting a green plant  on top of a table with white tablecloth framed by other foliage.
Photo by Pooja Shah/Tembo Tones

“The protestant ethic describes the moralizing of work and the privileging of property, not, as I used to think, the belief that work is, in and of itself, good. All this time, I’ve been using that term to describe my faith in work” (35).

“Society will always make demands of us, and a world that we built to value the relationships we have with others would perhaps make even more of them. But it would be a world where we shouldered those burdens equitably, distributed the work — pleasant and less so — better, and had much, much more leisure time to spend as we like. It would be a world where taking care of one another was not a responsibility sloughed off on one part of the population or one gender, and it would be a world where we had plenty of time to take care of ourselves” (331).

Teaching Love. Scaling Empathy. Founder & CEO of Ethos Talent. Executive Director of Embolden & Co. Program Director for 1871’s WIC Accelerator.

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