Labor Day is here and I cannot stop thinking about how much masculinity and my identity as a man can be so consumed by what I do for work. I wonder what the statistic is of how many times throughout ones life that you get asked "So, what do you do for work?" I know for myself I try and answer in the most cryptic ways possible just to bring a little flavor to the conversation. It just seems that the more important the job, the more money you make, and/or the more responsibility you have, the more of a man you are.
Seriously though, is a man defined by what he does? I think this quote by Benjamin Franklin is interesting "It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man." Does the identity of happiness come from working? I know for myself that if I do not have something to put my hands to, I start to feel that I lack direction in life. I am so internally driven to work. If I am not working I start to wonder if I am a man, if I was to be honest.
Why is this? It is such an interesting thing to me. How did the environment and culture I grew up in cultivate this syndrome in my life? How did my internal calculations come to the conclusion that if I am a hard working sun of a gun who can provide for myself and the people I love that I am a true manly man? Would I be lesser of a man if I just sat on a couch and collected unemployment checks? Would I be less masculine if I let my mother take care of me? Why is masculinity damaged when one does not work? These are the thoughts I have had as a result of Labor Day weekend and would love to hear your perspective.
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