Mindful and Reflective Moments

Wendy Maragh Taylor - “You Are Enough”

March 10, 2021 Vassar College Season 1 Episode 2
Mindful and Reflective Moments
Wendy Maragh Taylor - “You Are Enough”
Chapters
Mindful and Reflective Moments
Wendy Maragh Taylor - “You Are Enough”
Mar 10, 2021 Season 1 Episode 2
Vassar College

Do you know you are valuable just because you are a human being? You can find joy in life apart from what you do.  In a society that prides itself on productivity, we need to take a moment to consider and even adjust our mindset. Join Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor as she comments on an article, Workism Is Making Americans Miserable.

Show Notes Transcript

Do you know you are valuable just because you are a human being? You can find joy in life apart from what you do.  In a society that prides itself on productivity, we need to take a moment to consider and even adjust our mindset. Join Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor as she comments on an article, Workism Is Making Americans Miserable.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Mindful and Reflective Moments and thank you for joining us. In each episode, a Vassar College community member will share a mindfulness practice and explore how their practice sustains them during these uncertain times. We hope that you enjoy the podcast and find it helpful and meaningful.

Wendy Maragh Taylor:

I'm Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor, the Office of Student Growth and Engagement. Thanks for joining me for this moment of reflection. To prepare for that, I invite you to take three deep breaths with me. Inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Again, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Once more, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. You may close your eyes as you listen, or keep them open and focus on a fixed point, preferably not on a screen.

Wendy Maragh Taylor:

You are enough. In this article, workism is making Americans miserable. In the Atlantic, Derek Thompson writes, "For the college-educated elite work has morphed into a religious identity promising transcendence and community, but failing to deliver." "What is workism? he says. "It is the belief that work is not only necessary to economic production, but also the centerpiece of one's identity and life's purpose." Some years ago, I heard someone ask during a talk, "Do you have the destination addiction, when I, then I?" When I get my dream job, then I'll be happy. When I accomplish my goals, then I'll slow down and pay attention to the other parts of my life. If our sense of identity is bound up solely in a career and accomplishing goals, then we are setting ourselves up for something that is not sustainable. We are not human doings. We are human beings.

Wendy Maragh Taylor:

So I ask you, "What do you have to stop doing in order to be?" Remember, you are enough. In this article, Thompson goes on to say, "but a culture that funnels its dreams of self-actualization into salary jobs is setting itself up for collective anxiety, mass disappointment, and inevitable burnout." He asserts, "The problem with this gospel, your dream job is out there so never stop hustling, is that it's a blueprint for spiritual and physical exhaustion." Long hours don't make anybody more productive or creative. They make people stressed, tired, and bitter.

Wendy Maragh Taylor:

In my opinion and experience the meaning of life cannot be found in work, and when we really know that we are enough, we don't have to keep hustling, busied, to prove it. Thompson ends his article on workism with this statement, and now I offer it to you. "One solution to the epidemic of disengagement would be to make work less awful, but maybe the better prescription is to make work less central." That's my suggestion to you. Get a life. Make work less central. You are enough.

Wendy Maragh Taylor:

Thanks for joining me for this moment of reflection. Let's end with three deep breaths. Inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Again, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Once more inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Be well.

Speaker 1:

Mindful and Reflective Moments is brought to you by the Vassar College Counseling Service, the Office of Health Promotion and Education, the Office of Student Growth and Engagement, and the Office of Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.