I agree that people, by and large, need to stop worshipping at the altar of “work”. Martyring yourself for your job is not a good thing. We shouldn’t be admiring people who ruin their social /family life in favor of working all the time. That’s not a healthy or good thing; not for the person nor for the economy. Yes, there’s been countless studies on how important a balanced life is for workers in our economy. Any company who tries to short-circuit that truth is not just greedy, they’re short-term greedy. But that’s another rant. The thing is, your life shouldn’t be defined by your job or how hard you work or how much you sacrificed for your freakin job. There’s something to be said for being in a place where you can do what is your passion, your calling, your love…
On the other hand, not everyone *has* a passion/calling/love. Not everyone is endowed with the brains and fortitude to just forego working in order to survive. The flip side to that is that we still need basic workers in our world – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a capitalist economy or socialist economy or anything in between; we’ll always need someone to set the table, sweep the floor and dig the garden. And there’s always going to be people who are only really equipped to do those things. We used to call that “menial labor” but that became a bad thing? Like there’s something to be ashamed of just doing a basic job and then getting paid and going home? In fact, in some ways, it’s far better than any “higher profession” – people who do menial labor can finish their job and go home and not worry one iota about the business once they leave. They can still do their job with a sense of pride and there’s no reason they can’t be praised for doing a good job, whatever it is. Menial labor can be fulfilling and satisfying. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
And there’s people who went up the academic “ladder” and found it to be the most exciting, fun and fulfilling thing they ever did. They want nothing more than to sit in their lab/office/podium/desktop forever working on that amazing discovery or breakthrough. And there’s people who learned a trade that has limitations of quality and promotion and they’re perfectly happy to do that to the best of their ability.
It all can fit into our society. None of it has to be thought of as bad or lesser.
What matters is the ability to CHOOSE what you’re going to do and even change later if you want to. Choice is what matters to everyone. In our mixed-mostly-capitalist society here in America, choice is what’s curtailed and punished the most.
That’s what’s really wrong.
So what we’ve got to teach our corporate overlords right now, is that we have realized that even though many of us “need” to work (survival) none of “need” the punishing jobs that corporate-orama are trying to force us into. I see this lesson starting to be taught by the “menial laborers” and I’m hoping it doesn’t fizzle out, I hope it doesn’t die down. Because middle management, corporate overlords and CEOS – they may run things, but they don’t make the company RUN. If your drones don’t show up, you can’t do the business part that actually makes the money. You’re left with just people who push the paper and count the beans. Not to say there’s anything wrong with pushing paper and counting beans – those workers should be treated well too! – but those people aren’t the ones who make the donuts every day.
If you take away the choices, punish those who try to balance their lives and then shove the workers into barely-survivable boxes, there’s nothing left to be proud of. There’s nothing left to desire. It’s all just drudgery and sadness.
Well we just spent a year getting our priorities in order and we are starting to realize that there are other ways to survive. Maybe, we can make it without you, corporate-orama. Maybe we can hold our longer than you can. You think gig economy is a flash in the pan? It’s gone to street-level now. Gig economy is now normalized.
It’s not that government paying us means we’re lazy. We had enough time to take stock of our lives, grieve our losses and ask ourselves some hard questions about the quality of life. And our answers don’t really include being afraid of you anymore. When our priorities changed. our perspectives changed.
Maybe you better start getting YOUR priorities in order, corporate-orama.