One should do what one wants to do and figure out some way to get paid for it. With discipline, it can be done. The problem is not figuring out how to get paid but figuring out what you really want.

Skip Blount, Chapel Hill artist and musician

Working for myself isn’t so important as working on myself. However, this usually requires working for myself.

Working at something I like is more important than getting rich and I’ll triple the hours I work doing something I like before I’ll odd job to get by.

All work requires a great deal of discipline. But rather than disciplining myself to tolerate monotony, a time schedule, and unemotional involvement, I discipline myself to seek perfection, completion, consistency and constancy.

My need to express myself is greater than my need to work. I work to survive physically, I weave to survive emotionally.

Eleanor Lux, Bahama, weaver

I remember sitting and crying in the bedroom and saying, Kip, there must be a better way — and then getting up and going to work.


There’s no freedom. The establishment says you got to work. It flat burns me up. Society telling you you have to do this. Last week I put in 67 hours. The government got a third of it. For what? For buying San Clemente? Shit. . . .

Truck driver from Greensboro

Poor is when you work every week and can barely make ends meet. It makes you feel boxed in, like you want to give up. Sometimes you get so depressed, somebody rubs you wrong, and you take it out on them.

Mother of three, 33-year-old clerk

When you get bored, you have to look busy, shape up the gum or something. They don’t let you read.

Cashier at University Mall

Sure, we still have families we can fall back on, but who wants that? Who wants to go screaming back to Mama and Dad? There’s a lot of respect lost in that. . . . I think most of us are really conscious of the need for moral support. It’s a joy for me to be able to give it. That’s why it’s hard to leave Chapel Hill. There’s this real family of people here — a nest of tender love and care. It’s real hard, cause that’s all we’ve got.

Carol Rodwell, weaver and cook