Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday April 7, 2001
Are we living to work or working to live?
Ever had one of those days, one of those weeks, or those months? You know, one of those can’t-remember-what-time-you-got-to-work, haven’t-stuck-your-face-outside-all-day, don’t -know-when-you’ll-be-done days. One of those stints where, when you do get home all you want to do is flop on the couch, but you can’t; household chores didn’t get done because you were tied up all weekend at your kid’s tournament. The weekend routine went out the window. Most of us know this experience, or one like it.
The president of the United States doesn’t get into this state. Doesn’t believe in it. Recently, George W. Bush told reporters that he was “going to answer some questions … then I’m going home to take a nap.” He’s out of the office most days by 6 p.m. and almost always takes exercise and personal breaks during the work day. He doesn’t do weekends. No Clintonesque, 24-7 routine for President Bush.
Bush, you see, believes that a shorter, more efficient work day is good business. People who live balanced lives make better decisions, are more creative and will be productive longer, he says.
In a way, it’s unfortunate that it’s Bush putting this philosophy forward in a very public way. Because the president is not — never has been — known for his strong work ethic, and his views may diminish a concept that deserves fulsome discussion.
For now, let’s divorce this from George Bush. But does anybody besides us think he’s on to something?