New Course: Concepts Made Clear

Good Work

Become capable of deep, meaningful work.

Economic realities along with supposedly work-enhancing or work-reducing technologies often strangle and maim good work, both in our workplace and at home. Turn to time-tested strategies for life-giving, soul-enhancing and relationship-deepening work.

What To Do?

Responding to Economic Pressures

Our economy especially rewards work that is removed from real needs and real life. You can make your profession more meaningful and find other enriching good work.

Reconnecting through Better Work

Often our work is shallow or even soul-numbing, and we feel disconnected from our bodies, the earth, and our community. Good work can reconnect you and build surprising new ties.

Rediscovering Your Inner Craftsman

We can’t find time or occasion to develop deeper, richer skills, and we feel incompetent in basic areas of life. The inner craftsman in you can come alive through a variety of soul-enhancing works.

Featured Posts:

Crafting the Human by Slaughtering a Pig

Crafting the Human by Slaughtering a Pig

"let this day begin again the change of hogs into people, not the other way around, for today we celebrate again our lives’ wedding with the world, for by our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the bond." Wendell Berry, 'For the Hog Killing' It’s about being...

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Choosing Toil this Summer

Choosing Toil this Summer

“The Father himself Willed that the path of tillage be not smooth, And first ordained that skill should cultivate The land, by care sharpening the wits of mortals...” Virgil, The Georgics Summer has begun. As a kind of new beginning, every season offers a natural...

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The Economics of Splitting Wood by Hand

The Economics of Splitting Wood by Hand

*This is a reposting of the first piece I ever posted online, almost exactly eight years ago, at Front Porch Republic. It has remained one of the most popular I’ve posted. Also, here is short video sharing my joy in splitting wood. Hilaire Belloc once wrote that he...

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Recent Posts:

Crafting the Human by Slaughtering a Pig

Crafting the Human by Slaughtering a Pig

"let this day begin again the change of hogs into people, not the other way around, for today we celebrate again our lives’ wedding with the world, for by our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the bond." Wendell Berry, 'For the Hog Killing' It’s about being...

read more
An Autumn Resolution: Fill Your Barn, Then Rest

An Autumn Resolution: Fill Your Barn, Then Rest

Let there be order and measure in your own work until your barns are filled with the season’s harvest. Hesiod, Works and Days Today is the first day of autumn. Seasons are a gift it has become more difficult to recognize and receive. As a philosopher I love how...

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An Empty Nest

An Empty Nest

How selfhood begins with a walking away, And love is proved in the letting go. Cecil Day-Lewis, Walking Away We have been observing the progress of a family of swallows in our barn for the last few weeks. Yesterday, the three young ones fledged. After spending many...

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Manual Workers, Wisdom, and Cosmic Order

Manual Workers, Wisdom, and Cosmic Order

“How can he become wise who handles the plough? ...each becomes wise through his work.” Sirach Ben Sira and Aristotle are of one mind regarding the scribe’s pursuit of wisdom. “The wisdom of the scribe depends on the opportunity of leisure; and he who has little...

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Choosing Toil this Summer

Choosing Toil this Summer

“The Father himself Willed that the path of tillage be not smooth, And first ordained that skill should cultivate The land, by care sharpening the wits of mortals...” Virgil, The Georgics Summer has begun. As a kind of new beginning, every season offers a natural...

read more
A Great Reason to Maintain Our Home with Care

A Great Reason to Maintain Our Home with Care

“Now to cultivate something is to devote one’s attention to it. And we can cultivate something in two ways: either to make what is cultivated better, as we cultivate a field... or to make ourselves better by the cultivating, and in this way we cultivate wisdom.”...

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Craftsmanship Vs. Money-Making

Craftsmanship Vs. Money-Making

“...you thought that the shepherd as a shepherd tends the sheep not with a view to their own good, but like a mere diner or banqueter with a view to the pleasures of the table; or, again, as a trader for sale in the market, and not as a shepherd.” Plato, Republic Both...

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The Economics of Splitting Wood by Hand

The Economics of Splitting Wood by Hand

*This is a reposting of the first piece I ever posted online, almost exactly eight years ago, at Front Porch Republic. It has remained one of the most popular I’ve posted. Also, here is short video sharing my joy in splitting wood. Hilaire Belloc once wrote that he...

read more
A Plan for Winter: Receive the Gift of Slowdown

A Plan for Winter: Receive the Gift of Slowdown

“We’ve gotten stuck in the summer mode, in chronic summer... In fall and winter we should move into a new mode, a contractive and restorative mode... like coming home at the end of the day... with a sense of settling, of slowing down, of peace, of belonging, of...

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When Medicine Becomes a Business

When Medicine Becomes a Business

“And it belongs to...the medical art to produce health, not to make money. Nevertheless, some men turn every art into a means of money-making, as if this is the end.” Aristotle, Politics The state of medical practice in our country and in the world has been brought...

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Useless Houses

Useless Houses

“Well then, Critobulus,” said Socrates, “what if I demonstrate that, in the first place, some people spend a lot of money on building useless houses, whereas others spend far less and build perfectly adequate houses?” Xenophon, The Estate Manager I wonder what...

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Planting as an Act of Hope

Planting as an Act of Hope

“But on a well-banked plot Odysseus found his father in solitude Spading the earth around a young fruit tree.” Homer, Odyssey It is one of the most powerful images of Greek literature. An old man is tilling the soil around a young tree. Most likely he will never see...

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