Work … is not health! by Jacques Salomé

So work contrary to the saying of my childhood would not be health! Intuitively, and I say it without false modesty, I sensed very early in my childhood that the work was fatigued, and especially that its excess was detrimental to the health and balance of the person, through a conflict never resolved between do what you want and do what you have to do. I just had the confirmation, established by several American scientists that work is a certainty now, is harmful to health, causes many disorders, is expensive for society. This is confirmed with a study conducted by a professor at the University of North Carolina.

But inactivity, too, seems detrimental to a good balance. We must therefore find a happy medium between work and leisure, between activity and rest, agitation and dream, which seems to me to be common sense.

Because this study also tells us that mortality seems to decrease with the increase of unemployment. When one is in this situation of having to look for a job, work, one lives (certainly) less comfortably, but apparently longer. Thus, according to the study of the American professor, when economic growth deteriorates, it seems that some diseases are decreasing. Everything happens as if in the struggle for survival (because being long-term unemployed is a real struggle for existence and self-respect) paradoxically led us to better ourselves. Be careful, this is not to conclude by praising poverty, where an invitation to remain unemployed … but to open to a reflection on our relationship with work.

We discover thanks to these scientists, that the attention, the memory are stimulated by a sleep or a good nap, that the brain is more active, available after a rest, than the time devoted to the waking dream, to yawn to crows (which practically do not exist anymore) is beneficial. When we are clear-minded, uncluttered with thoughts around “things to do …” stress decreases, our relationships to others are more flexible, more open, more rewarding.

In my youth, I often heard my mother invoking two vital values ​​in her life:

“As long as we have work and health”. She valiantly associated these two notions without thinking for a moment, that they could also fight each other and harm one another!

There was, from time to time, a neighbor, an acquaintance, or a loved one who succumbed, who disappeared because, murmured the public rumor, “he was exhausted by the task!” In my popular milieu, all this was attributed to the boss, “an exploiter”, “a blood sucker”, it was said!

It is true that one had to be in good health, at that time, to be able to work 12 to 14 hours a day, and to last as long as possible, “to work until the end” not to be with the load others.

So today, between a social assistantship dominating for some, daily pharmacological crutching for others, which softens, attenuates the defenses, decreases immunities and too much work for many, (the 50 H are largely exceeded in many sectors). Or a work so fragmented that it scatters us. We both have to find a way to stay not only alive but healthy. I still have in me, nostalgia for this time, not so far, where we could say “work is health”, because the pleasure of doing well, the task well done, the Well executed work gave an extraordinarily encouraging life dynamic and confirmed a self-esteem, which seems to be lacking today.

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