There is work and there is work……

March 26, 2015

I have never been truly comfortable with the concept of ‘work.’ Don’t get me wrong. I am not lazy. I work as hard as the next cookie cutter. But I do question: the philosophy of what work is and should be along with how that idea might fit into the greater scheme of what it means to live a purpose driven life. That’s to say I don’t regard it as ‘given’ that work should comprise of a,b,c,d etc etc. Neither do I consider work as something that everyone says it is…to me the idea of work is deeply personal in so far as how I am able to relate to it.

For example, if work means that you have spent two thirds of your life in a cubicle replying meaningless e-mails and conference calling when everyone is sound asleep just to buy stuff to impress other people how ‘successful’ you are. Then to me, work has to be a ridiculously stupid idea.

If work means whole droves of humans don’t even bother to raise families any longer because they’re so fixated on the whole idea of getting ahead in life – then to me even if one is successful….it could be said the goal is serious misplaced.

Like I’ve said….I have always questioned the whole idea of work and how it might nourish or disable the mind, body and spirit. If there is one reason why I have always questioned that idea, it’s because I have noticed humans are the only animals who have to work along with deriving their self worth and ten other things that makes it possible to live. Animals make their livings by just living, but humans work as if its a prosthetic that makes living possible, thinking that they have to in order to get by. The bigger the job, the greater the sense of importance, prestige and challenge, the more wonderful they think they are….its a sort of scripting that has been wordsmithed since we were all young…..drummed into our heads….reinforce by the very litany of work for the sake of work culture. If you don’t have an important job….then you’re a failure…..you’re not important…and if one day you die, no one is ever going to show up for your funeral except maybe a dog that will piss on your tombstone. That at least is how I perceive the pithy summary of what work is to the common man.

Fortunately, when a man thinks deeply about the whole idea of work. Sooner or later he would tinker with the idea: how wonderful would it be to give up that corrosive idea of work and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. In probably the way animals do, stepping out only when it’s cool and comfortable in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon.

You know even that simple idea isn’t really that simple. When I first started farming. I was a stickler for getting things done in a twelve hour day. I would work like a crazy man shovelling coal into a furnace….it didn’t matter how hot it was….I would work….pit myself against rain. But you know what….I didn’t get very far. That was because that method of working was just so stupidly inconsistent with nature’s way of getting things done.

Since then I’ve changed the way I work….I go with the flow…if it’s too hot…I don’t mind bowing out while taking a afternoon nap. If it’s raining cats and dogs I just hang up my boots and chill…for me that is really how work should be if its going to nourish the mind, body and soul, it’s got to place the human first and all other considerations like productivity come thereafter.

The problem as I see it these days is the people who are responsible for planning don’t mind placing human beings last and that’s why you end up with really stupid things like stellar economic growth and empty playgrounds because no one wants to have kids any longer…to me that will always be very stupid.

For work to be truly meaningful it means to be constantly questioned…its not good enough when people just tell you as if they’re reading off a laminated card…that’s the way it is! Welcome to life! Or this is our karma!

For me when a man questions constantly the whole idea of work. Then at some point he will craft his own ideal of work: work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.

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