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Benton Harbor Herald Palladium Newspaper Archives Oct 17 1976, Page 4

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Benton Harbor Herald Palladium (Newspaper) - October 17, 1976, Benton Harbor, Michigan Fri savor the Joy of Dux to fit excerpts from the new Book by Eric Hoffer who works with both his hands and his mind and who believes in the value of Monotony and Eric Hoffer there seems to be a general Assumption that Brilliant people cannot stand routine that they need a varied exciting life in order to do their Best. It is also assumed that Dull people Are particularly suited for Dull work. We Are told that the reason the present Day Young protest so loudly against the dullness of factory jobs is that they Are better educated and brighter than the Young of the work be interesting actually there is no evidence that people who achieve much crave for let alone live eventful lives. The opposite is nearer the truth. One thinks of Amos the sheepherder Socrates the Stonemason Omar the ten maker. Jesus May have had his first revelations while doing humdrum Carpenter work. Einstein worked out his theory of relativity while serving As a clerk in a Swiss Patent office. Machiavelli wrote the Prince and the discourses while immersed in the Dull life of a Small country town where the Only excitement he knew was playing cards with mule Teers at the inn. Immanuel Kant a daily life was an unalterable routine. The housewives of Konigsberg set their clocks when they saw him pass on his Way to the University. He took the same walk each morning rain or Shine. The greatest distance Kant Ever travelled was 60 Miles Fromke Eigsberg. The outstanding characteristics of Many a creativeness is the ability to transmute trivial impulses into Momen Tous consequences. The greatness of Man is in what he can do with Petty grievances and Joys and with common physiological pressures and hungers. A when i have a Little vexation a wrote Keats a it grows in five minutes into a theme for Sophocles to a creative individual All experience is seminal All events Are equidistant from new ideas and insights and his inordinate humanness shows itself in the ability to make the trivial and common reach an from the Book in our time. Copyright a 1976 by Eric Hoffer. Reprinted by permission of Harper amp Row publishers inc there is no evidence that great achievers live exciting lives. Einstein worked out his theory of relativity while still a clerk in a Swiss Patent office. Enormous Way. An eventful life exhausts rather than stimulates. Milton who in 1640 was a poet of great Promise spent 20 sterile years in the eventful atmosphere of the Puritan revolution. He fulfilled his great Promise when the revolution was dead and he in solitary disgrace. Cellini a exciting life kept him from becoming the great artist he could have been. It is legitimate to doubt whether Machiavelli would have written his great books had he been allowed to continue in the diplomatic service of Florence and go on interesting missions. It is usually the mediocre p>0�,t or writer who goes in search of stimulating events to release his creative flow. But it May be True that work on the Assembly line dulls the faculties and empties the mind. The cure would be fewer hours of work at higher pay. But during 50 years As a Workingman i have found Dull routine compatible with an Active mind. I can still savor the Joy i used to derive from the fact that while doing Dull repetitive work on the waterfront i could talk with my partners and compose sentences in the Back of my mind All at the same time. Life seemed glorious. Chances Are that had my work been of absorbing interest i could not have done any thinking and composing on the company a time or even on my own time after returning from work. People who find Dull jobs unendurable Are often Dull people who do not know what to do with themselves when at Leisure. Children and mature people thrive on Dull routine while the adolescent who has lost the child a capacity for concentration and who is without the inner resources of the mature needs excitement and Novelty to stave off Job to do you ask yourself what Are the essential attributes a country must have if it is to remain vigorous the answer is simple so Long As a country has courage and a passion for excellence it can face the future confidently no matter How fearsome its difficulties. Courage is not Only a serviceable substitute for Hope but also As we know it is a chief Factor in the maintenance of personal Security. As to the passion for excellence it May sound Highfalutin but it actually concerns common everyday affairs i have spot int 50 years doing backbreaking work in the Fields in lumber Camps and on the waterfront. Many of the people i lived and worked with had courage and whether they knew it or not a passion for excellence the word a a jobs used to have a magical connotation in this country. It was something you had to do the Best Way you knew How. A Job might be unpleasant dangerous or trivial but it still had to be done and it had a claim on your skill and ingenuity. Even the simplest Job had its mysteries and once you fathomed them time flew. As one would expect the formula a there is a Job to do a cropped up in situations that had nothing to do with work. The americans performance on the Battlefield for instance had a matter of fact Job doing Quality. He did not fight for a motherland fatherland or some Ideal. There was a Job to do and he did it. Field marshal Rommel was astonished by the prosaic practical manner in which americans mastered modern warfare. I remember first Reading Marx a description of the workers attitude toward work in a capitalist society. The worker he said feels physically and morally debased by his work. He is like an exile in his place of work and feels at Home Only when away from his Job. Marx never did a Days work in his life and never took the trouble to find out How a worker really feels when on the Job. He naturally assumed that workers were a lesser Breed of intellectuals. By now Many workers have indeed become a lesser Breed of intellectuals and their attitude toward work fits Marx a description. They feel demeaned and dehumanized by the work they have to do and see a Job As a trap workingmen who have never read a Book talk glibly about frustration alienation and relevance. Like intellectuals they expect a Job not Only to give them the wherewithal of a living but to fill their lives with meaning. The fact that the word a a jobs has lost 4 a family weekly october 17,1976

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