It’s official: employers can’t force you to be happy. Hallelujah | David Ferguson | Opinion | The Guardian

In April, the National Labor Relations Board presided over a conflict between T-Mobile and some employees who felt that the company was asking too much by demanding that workers maintain a “positive work environment” at all times.

In its ruling, the NLRB concluded that workers have a right to address concerns about their jobs and that for businesses to require workers to be relentlessly positive all the time amounts to a stifling of free speech. Dissent and criticism, the board noted, are an essential rallying point for workers who want to address unfair working conditions or other workplace issues.

Studies of businesses and human psychology have shown us that in spite of our professed cultural love for optimists and a sunny, can-do attitude, the people who actually meet with success are those who approach life with a “defensive pessimism”: a willingness to embrace and factor in all of the ways that a plan can go wrong before they implement it.

Highly optimistic entrepreneurs, on the other hand, often take on risky debts and “swing for the fences”, placing their companies and employees in the line of fire by way of their own reckless faith that everything will break their way.

Source: It’s official: employers can’t force you to be happy. Hallelujah | David Ferguson | Opinion | The Guardian


Lazarus-style comeback | General | Times Higher Education

The result of liberal modernity’s grip on the West is “mass poverty, inequality, erosion of (institutions) below the level of the state and ecological dereliction of the Earth … it has abolished the rights and dignity of the worker, ensured that women are workplace as well as domestic and erotic slaves, and finally started to remove the ancient rights of the individual which long precede the creed of liberalism itself, such as habeas corpus”.

via Lazarus-style comeback | General | Times Higher Education.

On the Road or in the Studio, Artist and Musician Stephen Chopek is Building a Thriving Career | The Jersey City Independent

In recent years, I’ve come to realize that passions come and go. The creative process requires devotion more than passion. The creative impulse is a gift that has been given to everyone — it’s our responsibility to foster and develop that gift. It requires a strong work ethic. We have a finite amount of time on earth and there are a finite number of hours in the day. Using our time wisely while we have it is the least we can do in exchange for this gift, and for the gift of life in general. Everyone has something to offer.

I practice Vipassana meditation on a daily basis. “Vipassana” is a Pali word derived from the Sanskrit language. It can be translated into English as “clear-seeing”, “clear-knowing”, or “insight.” The practice itself is one of the world’s most ancient meditation techniques, originally taught by Gautama Buddha. Vipassana medi[t]ation requires one to be equanimously aware of the present moment as it manifests itself in the breath and through bodily sensations. — Stephen Chopek (aka SodaCan)


The Latest Indictment of Colleges – Walt Gardner’s Reality Check – Education Week

There are many well-paying jobs that do not require a four-year college degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently named carpentry, for example, as one of the 20 jobs expected to see the largest growth in the next decade because of the demand for more energy-efficient buildings (“Careers That Require Only Two-Year Degrees,” Aug. 11). But the U.S. persists in the fiction that without a four-year degree opportunities are bleak. This message does a terrible disservice to young people, particularly in light of the recession and the offshoring of work.

On work

Sometimes a person has difficulty with work, not because the work is unsuited to him, or he to it, but because his image of the work is blurred and defective. Frequently, such a person lacks a focus and has allowed the tender presence of his experience to become divided and split. His sense of his work as expression and imagination has been replaced by an image of work as endurance and entrapment. — John O’Donohue, Anam Cara