Sunday, March 02, 2008

This I believe

Photo by Cynthia Burgess

Are you familiar with the "This I Believe" series on NPR? Today's essay by Laurie Granieri is entitled "Leaving Work to Watch the Sunset" and I really recommend that you click through and read it, or better yet, listen to the audio. Here's part of what it says:

I believe in leaving work at five o'clock.

In a nation that operates on a staunch Protestant work ethic, this belief could be considered radical. Working only 40 hours a week? I just don't know many people who punch out at five o'clock anymore. It seems downright quaint, like pocket watches and shoe-shines.
My dad once told me he was unable to just gaze at a sunset; he had to be doing something as he looked at it — writing, reading, playing chess. You could say he was a success: He was a published author, an accomplished musician, fluent in German and American Sign Language. That's an impressive list, but here's the thing: I want to gaze at sunsets. I don't want to meet a deadline during them or be writing a column at the same time, or glance at them over the top of a book.
I've lived in parts of the world where people don't live to work - they work to live. Long vacations are considered simply civilized and people know how to relax and enjoy life. We need to cultivate that attitude here in the United States.

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