Work and other four-letter words

All around me, wherever I go, throughout the entirety of most of my life, people talk and obsess about work.

We spend 80% of our adult lives working and more than 50% of us hate our jobs.

We are classified and judged less by who we are than by the job we do.

Despite protests that our modern world is a classless Society, we still consciously and unconsciously separate and evaluate types of work, almost as rigidly as a caste system does.

So much of our lives are devoted to expending energy and effort on making money that our own images of self are intertwined with these efforts.

The young and inexperienced feel torn between exploration and development of their character and the uncaring demands of the workplace.

The older adult feels more and more unwelcome in his/her profession of choice as new skills are required that weren´t needed before and younger workers are cheaper to hire, maintain and fire.

Between young and old workers, the rest of the workforce endures, living between salaries, surviving somehow till vacation, trying to stay sane in an increasingly insane situation where he/she is asked to produce more and more in less time at the lowest cost possible, regardless of the sacrifice to him/herself in respects to physical or emotional well-being.

A very select few truly love their job but even they can only excel if they are willing to give up on other aspects of their lives that make up the human experience, like marriage, family or personal development, because one cannot serve two masters equally at the same time.

There are times when one begins to believe that we live in a dystopia where we are raised to be workers, drained of ourselves in the name of profits and production, and then quietly forgotten and begrudged as we linger on too long in hospitals or old age homes.

The pain of production is endured and surpassed by the fear of poverty.

Somehow the image of unemployment is a far worse look in the mirror than the image of a wage slave.

So, yes, there are definite problems with capitalism.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel recommended that we should throw off our shackles and become a socialist society where all are comrades in an egalitarian utopia, but as history as shown the result of revolution is not a classless collective but rather simply a change in who wields power over the people.

What was a czar-controlled government is now a commissar-dominated regime.

I believe that the change needed cannot come from force of arms or from group passive resistance.

For force of arms or powerful ideas is always met by violent countermeasures by those who wish to maintain the status quo which benefits them.

We as individuals are the change we need.

I think each of us needs to develop some sort of philosophy that is a healthy balance between keeping bread on the table for us and our families and keeping ourselves happy.

Having more money and more luxuries at the sacrifice of love of self and loved ones is a very poor exchange indeed.

If we could somehow reduce our desires for wealth, do the minimal amount of work only for what is needed to maintain ourselves and devote as much time as we can to the things and people that are the true measure of a good life, then maybe the revolution that we have been searching for from outside ourselves will be found within ourselves.


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