Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Work Ethic

While I am not religious, I grew up in a very religious community. It has been interesting moving from South Africa in which Church life plays a big role in people's life, to the United Kingdom, where it doesn't. Despite the lack of church attendance, many of the cultural aspects are deep soaked. 'White Anglo-Saxon Protestant' (WASP) culture is still very recognisable. A big part of this culture is 'God helps those who help themselves'. A belief that you can't just pray for things. You have to crack on and get it done. A belief in self-reliance, self-motivation and not looking for excuses or support.

Self-reliance is empowering. It forces you to look inside and do what you can, with what you have.

The problem is, we are aware of all the support we have received. Christians may refer to this as 'God working in mysterious ways'. Where we were born, who our parents are, our schools, the social capital of living in a functional country, our natural talents, the random experiences we have be lucky enough to be exposed to.

A push back on a 'sense of entitlement' that leads you to waiting for hand-outs is at risk of ignoring all the 'blessings' we have received. Ignoring our privilege. 

I believe Meritocracy/Privilege is close to 1. In other words, we can't take credit for much of what we achieve. Yet, feeling we can take credit is incredibly motivational. Stopping making excuses is a powerful driver.

I don't believe Universal Basic Income is a handout. It is a sharing of blessings that doesn't remove any of the incentives to do more. Having the basics required to work doesn't disrupt 'work ethic'.

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