July 30, 2022
Honest Money? (pt 2)
Thanks to everyone who sent in thoughtful replies to my last message about the old adage “An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”
Pretty much all the question and comments I got boiled down to the definitions of some key words, for example:
“It says ‘honest work’ not ‘hard work’…”
“But ‘honest’ means ‘fair’ in this context…”
I love getting thoughtful replies like these because it encourages me to dig deeper into what I’m trying to say, and to better articulate what I am really trying to communicate.
Here are a few things I realized about my assumptions based on conversations with you here on the list:
- I don’t consider an activity hard when it is difficult or complex. I consider an activity hard when is it draining.
- To me, the term “hard work” is redundant. IMHO, an activity that is not hard is not something that I would call work. In other words, I see work as hard by definition.
- “Honest” and “fair” are not at all synonymous to me. Honesty has to do with whether or not you lie. Fairness has to do with whether or not you cheat. Conflating the two feels like an attempted manipulation to me.
Semantics aside, my main beef with “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay” is that it encourages everyone - both buyer and seller, or employee and employer - TO FOCUS ON THE WRONG THING!
What’s the wrong thing, you ask?
On the work.
The time spent.
Here’s the thing…
Someone can work very hard for a long time but deliver little value.
Would it be dishonest (or unfair) to pay a lot more to someone who delivered ten times the results with less effort?
I say no.