The Great Resignation

La Voz de Galicia – February 11, 20222 →

Cristina PatoI don’t know when I read it for the first time, but I follow the concept since they began to talk about it in American media. The notion of the «Great Resignation» or the «Big Quit» comes to reference a labor phenomenon related to the pandemic and the quality of life in the United States. NPR mentioned that more than 33 million American workers left their jobs voluntarily from April 2021 until the end of the year. The reasons are varied–from early retirements to settlement problems, poorly paid jobs or a change in perception about individuals’ way of life. And I, every time that some news came out about the subject, returned to the concept that the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discussed in her novel Americanah where through the protagonist, she compared the difference between growing up in a culture where one is raised to «do» and in a culture where one education centers on «being.»

I have thought much about this subject over the past two years. Perhaps because I also quit a part of myself, because I stopped doing for the sake of doing, or because I have not yet learned to live in this new rhythm where, even though the days are not long enough to do what I propose to do, at least I can go out for a walk with my dog, feel the night fall, or fall asleep on the couch while I speak with Maruxa…

We don’t know yet what this «Great Resignation» means nor what labor horizon awaits us after the pandemic, but as my friend Ceci told me yesterday (with a phrase that she heard from someone she knows): «Don’t run ahead of time»…Because if there is something we learned over these two years is that it is not always helpful doing things nonstop if we have not learned to simply be.

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