Making a Life vs. Making a Living

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Adriana Zuniga
LAS 377,
Making a life vs. Making a Living
When comparing the processes of making a living and making a life both differ very much, but both play a role in the process of finding true success as an individual. Making a living is geared towards plain survival. In our society plain survival would be to pay the bills, buy food, buy clothes, pay the rent…etc. The idea is to settle for the least possible in order to get by, or as we call it survival. Making a life is geared towards knowing what it is that one wants to accomplish by working hard in order to get it. Making a life is more about proper selfishness because it starts at home and progresses through life in life experiences, but concentrates on the self as I call it the individualism.

Man was put on this earth to work in order to make a living, but through work man can achieve a powerful solidarity (unity) with others. This goal is only achieved when work is not abused, when it provides values to an individual’s life, and when it helps build a community that will work to achieve a common good. The common good will essentially lead individuals to come together as one to truly live out their lives. As discussed in class, the common good can be described as a condition(s) that provides individuals an equal atmosphere/surrounding where everyone can benefit from the conditions(s). In John Paul the II’s, Encyclical Letter, he talks about work as being the main component that will bring all individuals towards the common good. We live in a capitalistic society where without work one cannot survive. According to John Paul the II, work starts as a basic need for survival, but as life progresses individuals start to realize that work is needed to find an identity (start a true life). In my opinion a broad overview of his description would be that work helps individuals successfully head towards the common good. The Pope explains that to do so the individual must not let the means become the end. In order for this to be successful, he says that, work must have values that are followed, whether they are personal, family values, or social values. The goal is that through work the individual can join into a society that will be united through the same ideas of what the common good is. Unfortunately, as individuals we cannot pick our parents, cultures, where we are born…etc. One thing we can do is learn from the cultures of our families as well as adapting to the societies’ cultures in order to start our education and finding out who we are. At the beginning we view what is right and wrong according to what our families implicate on us, but as we grow older and experience other things through perhaps the shoes of other people or surroundings we learn that not all the time our first experiences were correct. Charles Handy, in his book The Hungry Spirit, believes that finding one’s self is a valuable thing, and that finding one’s self should be done through others. Handy believes that we find ourselves through others by learning from them and by working side by side with them. Work is also key to finding an identity (a purpose to who we are). In his book, Handy talks about learning to live with others and says that this helps us connect better with society (a unity that will help head towards the common good). In a sense I like to thinking about it as being a well-rounded person. Knowing people from different backgrounds will benefit someone in the long run. For example, knowing a bunch of mathematicians is great because you know a lot intelligent people, but knowing artists, business men, mathematicians, historians…etc. is better. You start to live a bit more as you tend to learn more through these people. The person who is well rounded is a better asset to themselves and to society in general. I like to think about it as a survival means; a person who is well rounded will adapt to a place faster, and adaptation is a must in a realm of survival. Being exposed to...
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