Todd Allen Gates (Author)
The common conservative answer to the question "Why do we work?" is that it's to pursue maximum wealth and status, regardless of personal fulfillment. The common rebellious answer, on the other hand, is that work is for pursuing one's inner calling, regardless of financial consequences. This book was written for the philosophically-minded teenager and young adult struggling to make sense out of these contradictory approaches.
PART I: "Why Do We Have to Work?" looks at the history of why we've always had to work, tracing the common link between the workday of the prehistoric hunter and gatherer, the first millennium B.C. farmer, the first century A.D. pottery-maker, the nineteenth century assembly-line worker, and today's videogame programmer. Included in this overview is an explanation of why we use this odd thing called "money": why the complications of bartering inevitably lead communities with multiple goods and services to use some type of medium-of-exchange (be it beads or dollar bills) to solve their trading problems.
PART II: "Work, Wealth, & Status" focuses on today's world, and contrasts our culture's guideline for happiness--the wealth, status, and identity we derive from our careers--with a guideline that instead aims for a balance of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions.
The insights I've gained from writing this book have helped me find (relative) peace within employment, and it's my hope they'll help the reader as well.