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Those Who Don’t Understand the Meaning Of “Why We Should Work”~「働く」in Japanese


Money is everything in this world. In order to earn money, we need to work for it. Nothing’s free. Everyone is aware of this fact. But, sometimes, we lose our sense of purpose, and forget why we should work. When people start questioning themselves with their purpose for working, it just shows that they are probably feeling mentally fatigued.


In Japanese, “work” is called “hatarauku”, and is spelled like “働く” in  Chinese characters. When directly translated, it means “moving for the sake of others” – working for people. By doing something good for people, we receive money as remuneration for our labor.


One more thing, literally speaking, “hataraku” can be taken apart into “hata” and “raku.” The former means “people next to you,” while the latter, means “easy.” So, when you put them together, “hataraku” can be translated into “working hard in order to make people next to you, e.g. customers or colleagues, have an easier time and provide ease to them.


For example, a trading company works to import food in order to provide its consumers with food that are not easily accessible to them because they are imported from foreign countries. The company’s efforts are the reason these foods are brought to the consumers so that we don’t need to go abroad just to buy and enjoy these foreign products. Moreover, it saves us from the painful and tedious process of negotiations with foreign suppliers, customs, and other agencies.


From my point of view, working also means helping people; we solve others’ problems. Developing medicines to help cure some illness, selling clothes most people can’t make by themselves, or selling processed food for those who don’t have time to cook, or can’t cook are just some examples of ways to ease someone’s life.


Likewise, “working for people” will be a cycle – paying and earning money. Work connects us all. Even things that we don’t directly see or don’t have a first-hand connection with still effects our lives. If you look around your office or school, you will see various fixtures which are a big business in this world. Working people in the factory have put in time and effort to create these things for us.


Except for fraudulent and crime-related activities, there is no such thing as a useless job in the world. All jobs, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem, have their own relevance and importance to our lives. Whatever you do at work definitely helps some or many people, both directly and indirectly. So be encouraged to keep making an impact and contribute to our community.