Activity 1: The Meaning and Dignity of Work
Activity time: 25 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story, The Three Stonecutters
- Handout 1, The Purpose Economy
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
- Optional: “Aaron Hurst Speaking at AshokaU,” (3:01), from The Purpose Economy website
- Optional: “Aaron Hurst on the Purpose Economy” (5:10), from The Purpose Economy website
- Optional: Computer with Internet connection and a digital projector, screen, and speakers or a large monitor
Preparation for Activity
- Preview the story and prepare to read or tell it.
- Make copies of Handout 1, The Purpose Economy.
- Post blank newsprint.
- Optional: Test your equipment, preview, and queue the video.
Description of Activity
Tell participants you will use a simple parable to open discussion about connections between work and monetary compensation. Read or tell the story The Three Stonecutters. Allow a few moments for silent reflection. Ask for brief, initial reactions. Then introduce and show the video(s) if you have chosen to do so. Say:
Aaron Hurst is the founder of Taproot Foundation and author of The Purpose Economy. He argues that we are moving from an information economy to an economy where people seek purpose in their work.
Distribute Handout 1, The Purpose Economy. Invite comments and questions. Then lead a discussion using the following questions:
- Does Hurst’s explanation offer new insights into the story of three stonecutters?
- Do you see yourself and your work in Aaron Hurst’s observations?
- How do you generate purpose in your work, whether paid or volunteer?
- Does the idea of purpose in work have implications for volunteer work in congregations or community organizations?