Sometimes I wonder if we all have a single conundrum that we wrestle with all our lives or if it’s just me. As I have indicated before, the singular issue for me is about finding meaningful work. Someone recently asked me why we even have the notion that work should be meaningful. My immediate response was Protestantism. It’s been a long time since I read it, but I definitely still subscribe to Weber’s theory that the Lutheran notion of being called to serve God by our activities in the world has become institutionalised in Protestant and capitalist cultures. Being called to serve God is de facto meaningful for those who believe and so, whilst we may have lost the Protestant framing over the centuries, the notion that we should find meaning in our work remains.
I was about 4 when this picture was taken. The point of it is not to showcase the lovely smocked dress my mum made for me, but to evidence the ‘vanishing wildlife’ poster behind me. I have always cared about the environment. I have no idea why, but I simply cared from a very young age and was a child member of the WWF and so forth. This environmentalism, and yearly farm visits to feed the lambs, led to me being a vegetarian for over twenty years. It meant I stopped using plastic bags about a decade before there was a push for this. It meant I bought recycled products in the 1980s, and later did my own recycling long before it became normal to do so. In fact, I can remember being in my early teens and pontificating that the only recycled product I wouldn’t use was toilet paper. Quite