Brilliant book, though what else does one expect from Jack?
It contains seven essays: The Efficacy of Prayer, On Obstinacy in Belief, On Lilies That Fester, Screwtape Proposes a Toast, Good Work and Good Works, Religion and Rocketry, and The World's Last Night.
They were all very good, but my favorite were On Lilies That Fester
and Good Work and Good Works
. In Good Work and Good Works
, Lewis says that there are two sorts of jobs.
Of one sort a man can truly say, "I am doing work which is worth doing. It would still be worth doing if nobody paid for it. But as I have no private means, and need to be fed and housed and clothed, I must be paid to do it." The other kind of job is that in which people do work whose sole purpose is the earning of money; work which need not be, ought not to be, or would not be, done by anyone in the whole world unless it were paid.
We may thank God there are still plenty of jobs in the first category. The agricultural labourer, the police-man, the doctor, the artist, etc., are doing what is worth doing in itself. Of course jobs of this kind need not be agreeable. Ministering to a leper settlement is one of them.
In a rational world, things would be made because they were wanted; in the actual world, wants have to be created in order that people may receive money for making the things. This is why the distrust or contempt of trade which we find in earlier societies should not be too hastily set down as mere snobbery. The more important trade is, the more people who are condemned to - and, worse still, learn to prefer - what we have called the second kind of job. Work worth doing apart from its pay, enjoyable work, and good work become the privilege of a fortunate minority.
There is of course more and the whole book is excellent. Highly recommend it.