Rat Race vs Charity Careers

On my way back from watching the Bollywood film Fire yesterday, I had a quick glance at an Evening Standard left on the train. In an article, I found a useful distinction that one charity worker made about the third sector. He said that the charity sector, unlike private sector jobs (or champagne doused careers in the public sector) does not follow a predatory work ethic. Most simply, the charity sector does not encourage careers that are focussed on individualistic and selfish motivations, i.e. salary, prestige and competition.

The charity sector is a locus where people can work to give back to society rather than merely seeing everyone else in their sector (both colleagues and clients) as animals to pounce on or crush. Third sector workers are not merely predators whose careers are premised on those wonderful Darwinian justifications, such as survival of the fittest where it is a race to the top (no matter if you have a huge bunk up from your parents).

But aside from the minor rant, what I would like to take away from that article is that careers in the modern industrial world are rewarded (largely in monetary terms), or by how much of a predator you are as an employee/entrepreneur. Judged on the lines of how you can take from others and dominate them for your own means, or how you can blood suck your company in order to be successful.

I would like to see the reverse occurring. To see rewards given to those in society and in the work environment, for how much they give back to others, rather than take for themselves.

Not simple, I know. Still, I do hope that one day we may at least measure civilisation and human success on economic and value-creation scales. I would prefer the rat race of life in the developed world to be more human. After all, civilisation and progress is meant to move us away from our predatory and animalistic impulses. But at the moment it seems that the whole of modern civilisation is premised on those impulses (competition; conquer; take) that kept us fighting our neighbours like we did in the dark ages! Or perhaps I am just missing something?

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One Response to Rat Race vs Charity Careers

  1. Bravo! I agree 100%.

    The problem is that society as a whole has an unhealthy obsession with the concept of success. Everybody wants to be successful and it is the material assets which are usually considered to be the symbol of this because they are what’s visible. The true measure of success – which is in my belief whether or not somebody has inner peace, is less obvious to others and so ultimately the fact that somebody has overcome a difficult personal journey to reach a state of internal utopia is dismissed and often scoffed at by most of those in the ‘rat race’ who’s pride comes entirely from their money and the size of their televisions screen.

    Charity workers go unnoticed. They lead humble lives and take home average paychecks. But when all is said and done, they can look back over their life and know that they used it to help make the world a better place. Those in the private sector can just think about their ferrari.

    Sweets, write more often on this blog xx

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