A Couple of Days Off


A Couple of Days Off

Taking time off once in a while is good. It gives you perspective, and recharges your energy. However, I think too much time off is not a good thing.

Lets compare ourselves (Americans, that is) with Europeans. On balance, work is a part of our lives, just as mowing the lawn, or painting the bedroom, or eating dinner. It is what we do. And in most cases, we celebrate it as we do the rest of our existence. Not THE part of our lives, but part of it nevertheless.

Our work is not a means to a end, but one of the ends in itself. We feel good about accomplishing something, whether its getting out a magazine, getting the street cleaner, teaching some kid a little bit more about math, or ensuring that the store is neat and clean for customers when they come in to pick up a quart of milk. We can go home at night and feel good about a job well done.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, the money is important, too. But its not everything. The work ethic is in our history, or families, our very genes.

There is a reason that our country leads the world in practically everything, from education to research to our ever expanding economy, to our faith in God, to our innate goodness, to our concern for the underdog.

Its out belief that working is good in its self.

The Europeans will tell you that we are crazy. One works to make vacation time. Period. That’s it, nothing else. They have on average eight weeks of vacation per year (counting all the holidays). They work an average of 35 hours a week. They strike at the drop of a hat (or truck in France.)

They live in the nanny state in the UK, expecting someone else to take care of them. Continental Europe has a declining population. Religion is on the wane. The economies of Germany, France, and Italy are in the dumpster. The so called European Union is facing its first big defeat as the people of France are poised to not ratify its Constitution. Europe is a beautiful place to visit, but on average 10% of its people are unemployed (more than twice our rate).

I think most of this has to do with their attitude about work. What do you think?

All that being said — I find 75% of my staff is on vacation, so I’m shutting down for the Memorial Day weekend. See you on Tuesday.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. John,
    You are right on the mark! Work can be completely fulfilling. I was always called a work-a-holic but Parking was really my Passion and now that I am completely retired I find myself at loose ends, even though I am busy from morning to night. I have friends and family saying aren’t you glad you retired and aren’t you glad you closed your business and my answer is “not really”. I am thinking you all have not heard the last of Kaye Beechum!

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