On the other hand, as tradition also tells us, he who does not work does not eat. Even more dramatically, it can be argued that work, while a necessity, puts us in contact with our best selves as we become Homo Faber (mankind the maker, as the ancient Romans described it). In his encyclical Laborem Exercens (On Human Work, 1981), the late Pope John Paul II noted that each man and woman in the course of his or her lifetime builds a great cathedral through the work he or she is called to do. In modern times, we define a life through career. But what are the distinctions to be made among labor, work, vocation, gig, job, and career? How, in conclusion, can we define ourselves through work in a culture that increasingly devalues labor in favor of hedge funds and IPOs? University Professor Warren Bennis will engage and guide undergrads as they stand at the threshold of their future in the working world.
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