Who’s Been Working The Hardest? Essay

2419 words - 10 pages

Some individuals work hard to end up on top of society, always. Social culture conditions us to believe that working hard provides money, power, and happiness. The idea of hard work provides comfort that one day we can live as we want to and not as the powerful people above us dictate us to. The idea of living life without the perks that hard working provides would mean letting go of the idea of material possessions making us happy and being comfortable without always being in competition with those around us.
The idea of letting go of the idea of material possessions means understanding that image does not mean everything. Once this is understood, a sense of freedom can come over us, as we ...view middle of the document...

” (629). Phil, didn’t see his life ending, though everyone else did. No one is surprised at the death, knowing how hard he pushed himself on a daily basis and how much devotion he had for his company. He sacrificed his family life and social life to focus on the work he was putting in. He never felt as though he was working as hard as he was. The corporate vice president is “one of three who might -- if the president died or retired soon enough -- have moved to the top spot” and work even harder, knowing this fact while living (629). There was no time for extracurricular activities, or health watching, because he merely worked. He thought he could coast past the fact that he was overweight, “because he didn’t smoke” (629). Many people worked under Phil in his position of power. There are three workers who specifically worked hard under Phil. The president of the company notices them, especially, because the hard work these three put into all of their work appeals to him. After Phil’s death, three three of the workers will be seriously considered to take over his position, but this is not mentioned in the obituary, either. Phil is survived by his wife who “already has” missed her husband, his eldest child who needed to “ask the neighbors what he (Phil) was like,” his second child who had “nothing to say” to her father when she saw him in his life, and his youngest child who “was his father’s favorite” but who “didn’t mean enough to him (Phil) to keep his the man at home” (629-630). The president speaks at the funeral and mentions that Phil will be “hard to replace,” but not even one day after Phil was declared dead, the president proceeds to “make inquiries about his replacement” (630).
Who’s been working the hardest? A question often asked in any setting, whether social, academic, professional, it is universal and translates the same in all languages and cultures. It’s a phrase questioning the capacity of one to complete (any) tasks that he or she may have. There is no finite answer to this question. In the case of the man in Goodman’s essay, hard workers are appreciated until they no longer can work. After they wither away, a replacement is found. Working hard is a known way to keep on top in a position of power and remain there. Power is achieved by hard work, and feeling competition helps fuel hard work to avoid threats to power. It’s a series of events that repeat time in and time out; there is no other guarantee of maintaining status. The need to achieve power applies in all situations and hard work brings the results. These results, ultimately, are what make it hard to stop working. Once the ultimate position of power is achieved, there’s no going back. So, if one loses track of him or her to hard work, there’s always someone to step in, and the cycle repeats until his or her subsequent demise. Replacements will never conclude and the legacy of hard working until the end will never conclude. “Who’s been working the hardest?” will stay...

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