Forget being “productive”

By Caitlin Kelly

It’s a neoliberal fetish and the favorite mantra of Americans — be productive, dammit!

Always secondary are non-economic behaviors.

The ones we remember about others, centuries later.

The human qualities we eulogize.


Be kind

Be smart

Be gentle

Be generous

Be thoughtful

Be creative







15 thoughts on “Forget being “productive”

    1. American life — and its lack of any meaningful social safety net — requires endless toil or worry that you’re NOT toiling. It’s sad and destroys a lot of other human behaviors we may privately value much more….like emotional intimacy. Hard to sustain if you’re commuting 2 hrs a day and/or working 3 part-time jobs.

      This pandemic makes this clearer to some…

  1. A timely post! šŸ™‚ I just listened to a short podcast (by Krista Tippett, host of On Being), which addresses this very issue. Here’s a link: At home, frustrated, and stressed ā€” is ‘just being’ worthy right now?

    She mentions Rebecca Solnit, whose writing I greatly admire. One of Solnit’s books, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster, has been on my to-read list for a while. I have a feeling that now might be an apt time to read it!

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