Just got your last letter today, thought I had better get back on the old schedule again so would answer youn’s a letter. I don’t know how much will come out, I may have to switch into double spacing to fill the page up.
For lack of something more exciting I might mention some of the junk I have been thinking lately. I picked prunes on Mon. Tue., and Wed. this week and I found that I could make the time pass a lot more enjoyably by turning something in particular over in my mind. I mentioned the group that is meeting before breakfast and discussing problems I guess I told you we were starting out on the problem of how we use our time. We all have about three or four times as much that we would like to do as we get done. We feel that most all of these things are important and are a little dissatisfied if we don’t get some of them done. So I got to wondering why I did the things I did do. It seemed to me that there are a number of things that I do because I thoroughly enjoy doing them, like talking to people, reading, making things in the shop and the like. Then there are things that I do that I don’t enjoy in themselves to much as the other things. Like doing project work in the shop, picking prunes, making my bed, shaving, etc. Now the fact is I do all these thing quite willingly. Both kinds and in their rightful time and proportions, but some of them I enjoy more than others. I would rather work on my own wood-working projects than one fore the O&C. I would rather work on an O&C project that I can do in the shop than one that I have to do out in the rain or than picking prunes. Why is it? Why do I do it anyway? The thing that I think happens is that I realize certain compensation factors that balance up so that I feel that the lack in original enjoyment in made up. For instance when I go prune picking the compensatine factors probably are 1. -8 The farmer needs help to get his crop in. 2. -8 Some one from the camp has to do it and I am better suited to do it than some of the others. 3. -?-9 I can do some thinking while working at a mechanical job that I can’t do while working in the shop. 4. -8 I get a certain thrill out of seeing how many bushel of prunes I can pick up. Now, in contrast to this day’s work is a day spent in the shop working for the O&C. I think that the reasons I enjoy working would be: 1. -8 building things is interesting because it satisfies the urge in me to create things, new things with my hands and head, something that I build. 2. -8 I am making a small contribution to a biger project that does have national importance. (how ever I don’t think that it is very nearly the most important work we could be doing, but that is off the subject). 3. -4+5 This job gives me a chance to learn more about an occupation which I really enjoy doing and that may turn out to be a part of my future living. 4. -4+8+9 It gives me a chance to practice and learn better work habits, habits of doing a thoroughly good job no matter how much time it takes.
Now, I was able to tie these though up with a previous theory of mine and number of other peoples too. That is: that people do things because they satisfy some one of a number of basic fundimental human needs. About the best list of these things is one I found in Dale Cannage’s How To Win Friends and stuff. As follows
(this is my own too)
1. Health and preaservation of life 9. Desire to improve oneself
4. Money and the things money can buy
5. Life in the hearafter (I add-Security)
6. Sexual gratification
7. The well-being of our children
8. A feeling of importance.
I guess you have read that guy’s book. He goes big on the 8th one about a feeling of importance. I intend to do some thinking and reading on these things and maybe make a little different line up of them. I don’t know as I go so much for a life hearafter. I might substitute something about security of some kind. That hearafter deal means a lot to many people but it seems to me that it meets the need of security that they may not feel with earthly things so they have to feel thay are secure in having something after this life.
Well, I’d like to tie up these things with my analysis of why I work. I’ll do it by number to save time and space.
Well, what do you think of my analysis? It is interesting how much I do for the feeling of importance. Also the things that I enjoy doing more contribute more towards making money and self-improvement. I havn’t though through that list of findimental needs very much, I may find that some of those could go together. Maybe that one of self improvement belongs to something else. Another thing is interesting about it. If I compare time spent as I like to spend it such as my free time I find that I do more creative things and self-improvement things. I also spend quite abit of time helping other fellows make things. It seems to me that helping others is one of the most satisfying things I do. The question I have is how the best way to help is, should I help them to do what they want to do or to help them to satisfy those basic fundimental needs. Well I have lots of questions that I’ll probably spend my life trying to find the answer to.
How do you like this sort of letter once in a while? It has helped me organize my thinking to write it to you so you could understand it. If you have any questions, fire them.
Yes, I want an absentee ballot whenever they can be had and, Dad, I’d like your advice on who are good men to vote for in State and county offices.
Yours for another week