The Sustaining Relationship Between The Q And His Work
Men earn their daily bread through the sweat of their labor. We call this the sustaining relationship because the Q must feed himself and his family. Work also sustains and benefits the Community, as we are all created to perform some function for the betterment of those with whom we live in Proximity. The gift given to the candlestick maker empowers him to light the darkness for his neighbor the baker, who in turn feeds him with wholesome nourishment. In this way, Mammon and Community are inseparable.
While Mammon is important to the Q, his family and ultimately his Community, it is the still the Q’s least important relationship. Here’s why:
• If he places work before his M and Shorties he has committed relationship malpractice—and risks losing them
• If he places work before his Shield Lock and his Blades the Community will suffer and erode—ultimately it fall prey to what lurks outside the walls
• If the Q loses his family and his Community to his work, there is nothing for his work to sustain—ergo, Mammon is least important
Few would argue with the logic of placing work behind family and Community
Even Goo Nation has its Oprah Bombs about the proper placement of Mammon, like “no man on his deathbed wishes he spent his life working more” and “there are no trailer hitches on a hearse”. And yet, the temptation to elevate Mammon to the forefront of the relationship target is ever present. If unchecked, it becomes workaholism in full bloom. Once there, like every -holism, it will swallow everything else in a man’s life. It will consume him.
Why? Here are three reasons:
1. Mammon Is The Easiest Relationship To Maintain
Unlike the other relationships on the Q’s Concentrica, Mammon is limited in both time and scope. All jobs have a time-clock of sorts to punch. No job is 24/7. When a man leaves work for the day, he may keep thinking about it but he does not have to interact with it. He can take vacations from it. He can call in sick if he must. Do any of these time limitations apply to any of his other relationships? Can he punch out on his marriage for the night? Can he take a vacation from his Shorties? Not really. Those relationships are all encompassing. There is no such thing as off-duty if your Shorty is sick. Nor is there any limitation on the scope of a man’s duties as husband and father. A good boss will give you a clear job description so that you know what is expected of you. As a husband and father, you won’t need anything like that because everything is expected of you.
2. Mammon Provides The Most Direct Affirmation
If you get a raise or a promotion, you’re doing your job right. How do you know you are a good Stone or an Effective member of your Shield Lock? Does a man ever look at himself in the mirror and say “dang, I’m one fine husband”? How would he know? The clear feedback of the workplace tempts a man to turn away from the chaos and uncertainty of his life as a husband and father in favor of the easy affirmation provided by Mammon.
3. Mammon Is The Relationship A Man Can Control
A man can quit his job and start over elsewhere any time he wants (within reason). In fact, Goo Nation encourages us to leave a job if the “fit” would be better elsewhere or if we are not as Happy there as we could be someplace else. Career selfishness is not only accepted, it’s a bit of cultural sin if not practiced.
But a man cannot apply that self-serving premise to his other relationships. Can a man quit his wife if he would be happier someplace else with a less demanding woman? Technically and legally yes, but it is still a lot more difficult to change wives than it is to change jobs. How about the Shorties, can they be replaced when they become disobedient or difficult? Well, a man may be able to physically separate himself from his children, but he remains their father wherever he may roam, so he can add Shorties but he can never reduce their number. Mammon is really the only relationship that is terminable at will.
Because it is easy, affirming and controllable, the temptation to elevate the importance of Mammon is compelling
The Q recognizes this temptation for the Jester it is and resists it. He keeps Mammon in its proper place at the outer ring of his Concentrica. The Q does not live to work—he works to enrich the lives of those with whom he lives and loves.