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:

Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

“In all manual work we find the primal phenomenon of culture that is human but close to nature.” “The sphere in which we live is becoming more and more artificial, less and less human,” Romano Guardini, Letters from Lake Como We have lost something today, but we can...

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In  Praise of Hand Work

In Praise of Hand Work

“The hand is a tool of tools.” Aristotle, On the Soul Recently I was watching a blacksmith work. I was mesmerized. There is something so satisfying and so fitting—indeed, so human—about the ability to do that kind of work. What most struck me is how glad he must be to...

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Finding Pleasure in Our Work

Finding Pleasure in Our Work

“…the foundations of society were never yet shaken as they are at this day. It is not that men are ill fed, but that they have no pleasure in the work by which they make their bread, and therefore look to wealth as the only means of pleasure.” John Ruskin, ‘The Nature...

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Recent Posts:

Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

Working by Hand: Reconnecting with Our Humanity

“In all manual work we find the primal phenomenon of culture that is human but close to nature.” “The sphere in which we live is becoming more and more artificial, less and less human,” Romano Guardini, Letters from Lake Como We have lost something today, but we can...

read more
Concentrate like a Roman

Concentrate like a Roman

Concentrate every minute like a Roman—like a man—on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can—if you do everything as if it were the last...

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In  Praise of Hand Work

In Praise of Hand Work

“The hand is a tool of tools.” Aristotle, On the Soul Recently I was watching a blacksmith work. I was mesmerized. There is something so satisfying and so fitting—indeed, so human—about the ability to do that kind of work. What most struck me is how glad he must be to...

read more
What Fire Cannot Destroy

What Fire Cannot Destroy

“Those bygone workmen did not serve, they worked. They had an absolute honor, which is honor proper. … A tradition coming, springing from deep within the [French] race, a history, an absolute, an honor, demanded that this chair rung be well made. Every part of the...

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The Sight of Home After Work

The Sight of Home After Work

“Unburdened of his toilsome mission, Amphitryon welcomed the sight of his own home With the loving eagerness A man welcomes escape from painful illness Or from chains of iron.” Hesiod, The Shield Many of us have to leave our homes to go to work. Even if we would have...

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Those Bygone Workmen

Those Bygone Workmen

“Those bygone workmen did not serve, they worked. They had an absolute honor, which is honor proper. A chair rung had to be well made. That was an understood thing. That was the first thing. It wasn’t that the chair rung had to be well made for the salary or on...

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Wealth: Seeking Only What’s Needed

Wealth: Seeking Only What’s Needed

“One natural kind of acquiring property is part of household management…and things necessary for life and useful for the household are acquired. They are the elements of true riches; for the amount of property which is needed for a good life is not unlimited.”...

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Finding Pleasure in Our Work

Finding Pleasure in Our Work

“…the foundations of society were never yet shaken as they are at this day. It is not that men are ill fed, but that they have no pleasure in the work by which they make their bread, and therefore look to wealth as the only means of pleasure.” John Ruskin, ‘The Nature...

read more
Cleaving the Earth with a Plow

Cleaving the Earth with a Plow

“The farmer cleaves the earth with his curved plow. This is his yearlong work, thus he sustains His homeland, thus his little grandchildren, His herds and trusty bullocks. Never a pause!” Virgil, The Georgics A man puts a plow in the earth. Behind a horse. He knows...

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A Great Way to Spend a Life: Teaching

A Great Way to Spend a Life: Teaching

“The mind needs a mover to actualize it through teaching… Therefore the teacher raises the intellect to know the things he teaches…” Thomas Aquinas, On the Teacher At the end of a year a teacher is tired. It can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture through a...

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Stress #2: Too Much To Do

Stress #2: Too Much To Do

“Toil mastered everything, relentless toil. And the pressure of pinching poverty.” Virgil, The Georgics Most people I speak to say that there are too busy. For many, this busy-ness is a significant source of stress. We feel trapped; we feel constrained to attend to...

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Learning to Write by Hand

Learning to Write by Hand

“The hand is the tool of tools.” Aristotle This post is different. Last autumn I decided I want to retrain my hand. To write. I had three reasons. First, my wife has always had beautiful handwriting, and it is simply so aesthetically pleasing. Second, I have read that...

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