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Sense of work, social utility of trades … the questions raised by confinement

After these weeks of confinement, should we question the meaning and interest of office work?

Ghislain Deslandes: Staying at home, surrounded by loved ones, corresponds to an ideal of life … often disappointing in practice! The idea that it would be enough to withdraw from the world to solve all our problems is a terrible illusion, as the philosopher Pascal noted in the seventeenth century already in his Thoughts: “Nothing is so unbearable to man that to be in complete rest, without passions, without business, without entertainment, without application. He then feels his nothingness, his abandonment, his insufficiency, his dependence, his helplessness, his emptiness. ” In short, depression is guaranteed!

On the other hand, all the better if this confinement pushes us to question the value of what we do at work. Faced with the crisis we are experiencing, we are confronted with the meaning of our action and the need to question the why of our actions, with a better distribution of our efforts between professional and family life.

What new paths can we outline in such a framework?

Confinement was originally a psychological test, but it quickly spread philosophically. Three possibilities are thus offered to all those who find themselves in more or less forced teleworking or sometimes in partial or even total unemployment. They can distract themselves, drink from movies, series, books or even video games, to escape the feeling of emptiness described by Pascal. They can also educate themselves and seize this opportunity to train and perhaps reorient themselves over time. Finally, they can despair, let go of the feeling of uselessness and exclusion…

At the edge of these three standard patterns, everyone has the opportunity to “unlearn” what they know or thought they know and thus operate a bifurcation vis-à-vis their usual thought patterns. In particular, we would benefit from becoming more aware of the “usefulness of the useless”, according to

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