Here’s why North American work culture is toxic

My family and I engaged in a rather thought-provoking conversation a couple of nights ago. I say it was thought-provoking as I have thought about the discussion on and off since we had it, and considering it was a few days ago, I think it goes to show the validity of what was said.

Over dinner, we were discussing how there seems to be a North American ideology that has been forced upon us regarding work. Here, we very much, as a society, collectively abide by the concept that we live to work. In regions of Europe, this mentality is challenged as it is actually reversed; over there, they work to live.

My family and I were chatting about the North American perception of work, and how we essentially place value on how much or often we work and see it as an indication of who we are as people. We fear being perceived as lazy, so we live our lives in a rather toxic manner; we invest so much of our time and effort into our work, and in doing so, allow things like our personal lives, relationships, families, friends, loved ones, hobbies, interests and passions to lose their significance.

How disheartening is it to acknowledge that a lot of us put our work before things that cannot be replaced? How many of us sacrifice time with family to squeeze in a few more hours of work for an employer who really doesn’t give a shit about us? As employees, we are entirely replaceable. Family isn’t.

This working concept so many of us practice is, in simple words, wrong. Hard work is absolutely important and valuable in our lives, but it shouldn’t take precedence over our own happiness, mental health, or personal lives. Life is about balance, and it’s time a lot more of us acknowledge that.

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