(4) Accept the responsibility of assuring that your occupation does
as much for others as possible. We can not depend on governments,
professions, and corporate management to be as moral and wise as
we could be. Neither management nor labor unions will willingly give
power back to the workers (Lasch, 1984, p. 51); we will have to take
more responsibility for decisions at work and demand that wrongs be
righted and that the products of our work serve others well. Perhaps
work can become more of a way of enriching our lives, of giving to
others, and less of a way for a few to make big profits. For example,
how can we as laborers in steel mills and auto factories continue to
demand $25 per hour when such high wages put us out of work? How
can we as farmers accept payments for not producing and a
distribution system that doesn't get our food to hungry people? How
can we as educators think there is an over-supply of teachers when
more than half the world can't read (actually 50% of Americans can't
read well)? How can medical schools reduce enrollment when U.S.
physicians make $200,000/year and there still are 2 or 3 billion people
with little or no medical care? How can professionals "push" only the
expensive forms of treatment and neglect the cheaper methods that
might help many more? Each of us can become part of the solution,
not part of the problem. This is part of learning to relate to and care
for others in a self-responsible way.
Ideas are funny little things. They won't work unless you do.
Selected References for Understanding Relationships
Bernstein, A. J. & Rozen, S. C. (1992). Neanderthals at work:
How people and politics can drive you crazy...and what you can
do about them. New York: Wiley.
Brehm, S. S. (1985). Intimate relationships. New York:
Burns, D. D. (1985). Intimate connections. New York: New
Gazda, G. M., Asbury, F. R., Balzer, F. J., Childers, W. C., &
Walters, R. P. (1991). Human relations development. Boston:
Allyn and Bacon.