Monday, February 18, 2008

Finding Meaning

I'm having trouble finding any real meaning in my job. I've asked a few times about the real purpose of what we do, and can't find a satisfactory explanation. Other people I work with feel the same way. I've been told that by others that they do the work because they are being paid and because they want resume fodder to eventually move on. I'm trying to find a way to reframe my job in my mind to make it seem more worthwhile, but it's difficult.

So, since I can't find any meaning in my job, I'm working to find a purpose in my life somewhere else.

I came across the website for a group called the Northern Virginia Ethical Society. It seems to be like a church that's not a church, you know? I'm partly just looking for like-minded people to interact with. A few weeks back, I went to a group for atheists. But, I don't know if that is entirely my thing or not. I'd rather have the focus be on what I can do to be a better person rather than just bitch about religious people the whole time (although that can create some funny moments...). I can't really find a purpose in the atheist group because all their activities revolve around promoting atheism and not a lot else, though. I guess I don't have much of an atheist agenda...although I don't believe in god, I wouldn't make atheism my "religion". Does that make sense?

There are a couple of people from atheist group that I've invited to check out the ethical society thing. So, yeah, I think I'll check it out next Sunday and see if it's my thing at all.

Oh, and I'm trying to get more on the ball with doing good things for the environment. Ever since I've started my job, I feel like a terrible person for the amount of waste I produce. I eat out more, which creates all sorts of packaging waste. I sometimes go to this salad bar place that gives you these huge styrofoam containers. Hell, I thought styrofoam went out in, like, 1987. I'm also always printing stuff at my job (most of which doesn't need to be printed, but I do it anyway because people ask me for hard copies of things...), which feels like a waste of paper. Next Saturday, I plan to do a neighborhood clean-up with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment. It won't make up for all my environmental evils as of late, but at least I'll be doing something. And, I'll get to cross something off of my list! (my list is my religion...just kidding...)


Anonymous said...

I Hope you'll come by a few times to visit the Northern Virginia Ethical Society. You're right: we are a congregation; we focus on our ethical responsibilities and our obligations to those around us. Members of Ethical Culture can believe, or not believe, in God, but we measure our actions by their impact upon humanity.

I also agree with you about those who spend their time complaining about religion. I'm an atheist, but I understand why people believe in God, and why religion is so important to them. Ethical Culture is my religion, and I'm glad I have a congregation to meet with, learn from and celebrate life with.

-- Chris

Emily said...

Did I ever tell you about my landlord? Actually, he's my building manager and not my landlord, but whatev. Anyway, I was talking with him once (that man can TALK) and he brought up religion. He started to say something and stopped and asked, "You're not one of those atheists, are you?"

I wasn't sure how to respond. 1) At the time I wasn't sure if I considered myself atheist or agnostic. 2) I'd prefer not to have my landlord have this bad notion about me (which really bothers me that I'd feel bad about "admitting" that, but that's another story).

Anyway, I just said something like, "No, but I'm not of any particular religion."

Anyway, he went on to talk about how it bothered him that "the atheists say they don't believe in anything, but everyone believes in something."

I would have pointed out that atheists do, in fact, believe in a lot of stuff...God just doesn't happen to be one of them. But I'd already been in his office far longer than I wanted to be and I wanted to get the hell out of there asap.

Not sure if there was a point in this, but whatever...

The Green Miles said...

Does your office recycle (and use recycled paper to print on)? Ever brought your own Tupperware container to the salad bar? It's an extra step, but if you're feeling guilty about the Styrofoam, might be worth it.