Sunday, July 17, 2005

Rationalization of the Month: A Corollary

Regarding my post a few days ago about my new Rationalization of the Month ("Politics is too important to be done as a career"), I would like to add a bit of explication and a corollary.

What I mean by "Politics is too important to be done as a career" is that I had gotten to the point in my job at a political organization that the day-to-day stuff that goes with having any sort of job was getting in the way of the actual execution of my political work. In other words, the job was too time-consuming.

This is in no way an indictment of this particular organization. On the contrary, I was there in one capacity or another for nearly nine years and for most of that time I felt pretty productive and like I was making a positive contribution to the world.

But now I am able to choose whatever political actions I want, without having to make sure they align with the goals of the organization. And, since I'm not going to an office 40 hours a week, I find I have more energy for political work.

Related to all this is the corollary:

Politics is too enjoyable to be done as a career.

No job, no matter how perfect, is a bowl of cherries all the time. By de-linking career and political work, I find it much easier to take enjoyment in the political work.

I own a few hand-made wool sweaters that were knitted and given to me by a knitter I know. Sometimes I will get compliments on one of these sweaters, and I say that it was knitted by hand by a friend. Sometimes people will then say, "Ooh, do you think she would knit a sweater for me if I paid her?" And I say, "No, I've asked her about that, and she said that knitting for money would take all the fun out of it."

At this point in my life, that's how I feel about politics. Doing politics for money takes all the fun out of it.

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