You Are What You ‘Work’ – Anatoli Rochill, Assistant Professor, Department of History

Corruption, bribery, and extortion – are some of the problems that we want rooted out of our State. We blame the system, the government and ourselves for the impasse that we live in. Have we ever considered the possibility that these problems could be done away with if we changed our work ethic and took our work and responsibilities more seriously? Can we hold ourselves accountable for the quality of work we churn out, and be rewarded for exactly what we deserve or is it just free, easy money that we want? The ability to say ‘no’ to a bribe, to refuse to indulge in corruption or extortion is a culture we now need to adopt. Maybe it’s time to think about how much we value the kind of work we do or how we make a living, as the practices and decisions we make in our work place, reflect the kind of person of who you really are. 

You Are What You ‘Work’


With time, we seem to have forgotten or failed to practice many valuable qualities of humanity. Of all those lost, one such quality is the importance of having a strong ethic in work culture. But today, many treat it as a curse. We do not want to lift a finger but expect everything to be served to us. We often miss the fact that there is purpose in work. Only those who do, will experience the sense of fulfilment. For in ideally squandering one’s life away one will gain nothing but a feeling of discontentment and frustration.

We are here today because of our forefather’s labours. They have toiled under the sun with the vision of a brighter future for us. We have much to learn from their lives; their work ethics, social norms, their life style and most importantly their outlook on life. Today many of our fellow Nagas are seen wasting their lives by doing nothing. We have enough educated unemployed people. Some are highly qualified and some even carry with them impressive portfolios and diplomas. But why are they not working? Is it lack of opportunity? What are they waiting on? Most of them have a preconceived notion that true work is where one is employed in a government office. Work in my opinion is doing whatever one can to survive. We can create our own office. Our room can be our office if need be, so long as we are doing something worth a living.

These qualities of one being work oriented starts at home. It starts with the little things in life, be it doing the house chores, helping out in the garage, running the house errands, etc. Slowly but surely we adapt to work culture that is losing grip everyday from our lives. We need to be proactive and understand that we each need to contribute something in order for things to work. But unfortunately, instead we see a lot of blame game happening. We are always too hesitant to acknowledge our mistakes but ever ready to point a finger at another for all the failures that we face.

We envy the life of the west. We are easily influenced by the lavish and colourful culture of the western world. We want to dress like them, act like them; eat what they eat, live like them. We assume that they have and get everything that they need. No doubt they are more advanced and civil in many ways. But they were not always like they are now. They had to work on it; they decided to work on their God given talents religiously to the fullest, and ultimately bore the fruits of the hard labour. Even today, instead of sitting back and enjoying their luxury and comfort; they work tirelessly everyday to improve on their already advanced state. Hence, they are constantly growing and developing.

What about our Naga society then? We are certainly trying to cope up with the western culture but until and unless we change our work culture we will never succeed. For instance, whenever we go to any government office we notice that the people working there seem to be laid back and relaxed. Work proceeds in a very slow manner. To get even a signature on a document takes a very long time, and sometimes even involves the practice of offering “tea and snacks” to get the job done. If this is the wok culture in our society then how can we expect our society to grow and develop? This is just one example, but there are many others in many fields where we will find our people following and living the indolent way of life. We want all the good things in life but we are not ready to labour for it.

Even the Bible says in II Thessalonians 3:10 that “If anyone will not work, neither let them eat.” Further in II Thessalonians 3:12 reads “…work to earn their own living” and in Ecclesiastes 10:8 “… when you are too lazy to repair your roof, it will leak and the house will fall in.”  We as Christians also have an unyielding responsibility to be hard working and give our best in life in all that we do. It is certain that our hard work will never go in vain. If we are determined and focused, our labour will surely bear good fruits. We must always remember that God helps those who help themselves. Thus, we must take comfort in the fact that if we are true to ourselves and work hard, we can achieve anything in life. For, there is no room at the top for lazy and idle people.

Through this short article, I would like all of us to realize our strengths and begin to work on it. We must do all that we can to excel in the areas that we are good at and not let our weaknesses hold us back. We should try to have a positive mindset. Continue to work hard, don’t be indolent but rather spend each day thinking of newer ways to improve and use our talents. I assure you, if you stay the course, you will succeed.

One Comment

Leave a Reply