How garbage collectors thread the fabric of civilization

In a short film from StoryCorps, sanitation workers Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves reflect on their time spent sharing a garbage route in Manhattan’s West Village. Their story offers a striking portrait of the dignity, meaning, and transcendent value of work done in the service of neighbors. Continue Reading...

Against job-shaming: ‘Cosby’ actor reminds us of the dignity of work

After a decades-long career in film, theater, and education, actor Geoffrey Owens decided to take a part-time job as a cashier at Trader Joe’s. When customers and news outlets began posting photos of the actor bagging groceries, the resulting comments included a mix of mockery and what Owens describes as “job-shaming.” Fortunately, according to Owens, “the shame part didn’t last very long.” “It hurt…I was really devastated,” Owens explained on Good Morning America, “but the period of devastation was so short.” Owens soon received countless messages of praise and celebration—many from fellow actors—encouraging him and affirming the value of his work. Continue Reading...

Where criminal justice reform meets the redemptive power of work

According to a recent study by the Rand Corporation, “more than 2 million adults are incarcerated in U.S. prisons,” with roughly 700,000 leaving federal and state prisons each year. Of those released, “40 percent will be reincarcerated.” It’s a staggering statistic—one that ought to stir us toward greater reflection on how we might better support, empower, and equip prisoners in connecting with social and economic life. Continue Reading...

The folly of ‘following your passion’

If you’re a young person in America, you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded by calls to “follow your passion,” “pursue your dreams,” or “do what you love and love what you do.” But do these sugary mantras truly represent the path to vocational clarity, economic abundance, personal fulfillment, and human flourishing? Continue Reading...

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