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  • Writer's pictureMichael Cundall Jr.

3 Weeks MIA--And Why Humor is Important

Hi there dear readers. I think it has been 3 weeks from my last post. Life has a way of getting in the way. With the end of my semester, final grades, lots of travel and three boys with their own lives, well, I just didn't have the energy to keep up a weekly post with meaningful quality. And if there's one thing that I do not like, is putting out posts that are filler. I can't imagine having something particularly interesting to say about humor every week, but given how websites and such are evaluated, I better.

One thing I did over that break was to give my final pitch for this business of mine. I was part of a cohort of 14 other companies in an incubator run by LaunchLab Greensboro. For 12 weeks we all met for two and a half hours every Monday to learn about everything from publicity, messaging, HR, and all sorts of topics related to business. For an academic by background, this was all subject matter I never had any exposure to. It was a language and style of thinking that as a philosopher I was completely out of my element. My cohort was filled with a number of interesting companies and earnest and engaged people. It was quite an enjoyable experience to work with them, be challenged by them, and see the growth that we all experienced. One thing I noted was that five or six of us were all companies focusing on wellness. The fact that around 40% of the startups in this batch were focused on wellness was surprising, but given all the numbers and information out there that show how wellness is becoming more and more an issue is something that I think we need to pay attention to. It seems that our work lives, and not just here in the USA, are becoming worse for us. I've noted the issues with retention and engagement before, but seeing how many people are trying new businesses that are focused on wellness really made me wonder why the work situations are so harmful to wellness.

There's an idea out there about work that you can read in the Bible to Karl Marx. The idea is that the thing that makes us human, that which separates us from other animals on earth is that we make things, we create, we build. Marx said that humans turn "nature into culture." Modern "makers" movements and the proliferation of makers' spaces and collaborative areas in that model reinforce this. So it should be surprising and concerning that we seem to be alienating ourselves from our work (well not if you're a Marxist). If the trends continue, we will be in serious trouble.

There's something interesting about all of these issues with wellness, disengagement, and work. We are working up against it now and we are beginning to see the toll that these trends are having on not just the bottom line of a company's spreadsheet, but in the toll it's taking on our persons. We're stressed, tired, pessimistic, and disengaged. I am hopeful, however that we can fix it. That fix will take some work. And what I am certain of is that humor is going to play a big role in helping us reset and change our work cultures. This is the challenge that we face, and we are up to that challenge. Here's to another year of posts, stories, and humor.

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