A gloomy outlook, I know. I have never been known to be much of an optimist, but think about it. What is life about, and what do you actually spend your life doing? Do you spend it doing the things you want to do? I would be willing to bet that for the average person, the answer to that question is no. Even if you love your job, given an option of going to work, or spending the day doing something else you enjoy, who would choose work?
Education and Employment
For most people, from the time you are born, you are being sculpted. Sculpted into what you will become someday. From the time you are about 3 years old, barely even self-aware yet, you being the process of formal education. Saving pre-school and kindergarten, you spend about 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, at school. From the time you are about 6 years old, to the time you are 18 years old, you are being taught. Trained. Shown the things you need to know to be a successful adult. After you are 18, many people volunteer for more education, with the expectation that the more educated you are, and the more pieces of paper you have, the more successful you will be. Success? A topic for an article in itself, the concept of success has become very warped.
From a very early age we are given the idea that we need an education to work towards a goal, that goal being, a good job. So at 18, we either go to college for several more years, or we jump right into the workforce. Those that go to college, after those years spent learning even more, we jump right into the workforce.
Why? To make money. If anyone even tries to suggest that they want/get a job for any other reason, then to make money, they are a liar. So basically, we spend the first couple decades of our lives being groomed into a money making tool, so that we can provide income to ourselves, and our family, under the pretense that having that money will provide us the things we want, and need, to be happy.
The system has been designed in such a way that one cannot survive without money, and that one cannot obtain money, without a job to provide income. Clearly these jobs can vary greatly on the scale of how much they suck, but even the best jobs, still suck. Even pro athletes, and movie stars, I am sure, would much rather spend their time in leisure, or with their families, then being grossly overpaid to do things that to us, seem fun.
The purpose of your life
So then, if it can be argued that the purpose of your life in this day and age, is essentially a linear progression of: Birth, Infancy, School, More School, Work, Retirement, Death. What would you say the progression should be if you had to choose what you did? If you did not need money to survive, if someone else provided everything you needed to you, what would you do?
Since the dawn of time, man has sought purpose. No other organism on this planet has such a superficial life with such superficial purpose. We are given roughly 75 years of life on this planet, to do with it what we choose. Nature’s only concern is that we reproduce. In days of early man, time was spent raising a family, making babies, and hunting food. Later, we decided to make tools to aid us in this effort, even later, someone devised the idea that one could make a tool for someone else, and sell it, for a fee. And even later, our entire life on this planet became being spent devising ways to make our lives easier, and, finding ways to profit from those ideas such that our own lives can be even more comfortable as we reap the benefits of our ideas.
Fast forward to modern times. A system of currency has been developed, companies that provide such goods that our lives are more comfortable proudly provide us with all the things we need to live a happy, comfortable, fulfilling life. Problem is, we need to be able to give these companies something in exchange for their goods. Since we cant trade skins anymore, we trade labor.
You work for me helping to create these items of value, I will give you tokens for your efforts. You give me those tokens back, I will give you the items you desire. And thus, the cycle starts. The purpose of our lives has become a constant uphill battle of obtaining the objects of our desire, and working hard to earn the tokens we need to pay for them.
When we age too much to be viable labor anymore, we retire, and enjoy the last few years of our life, doing what it is we wanted to be doing the entire time. Nothing. Shortly after which, we die.
As outlined above, there is a machine at work here. A system of goods, services, and currency. Companies exist to create the things we enjoy. Other companies exist to provide those companies with the resources they need to create the things we enjoy, and even more companies exist to provide the services, logistics, and resources to all those companies, all so, you guessed it, we can have the things we enjoy.
So, we work at one of these companies, to make money, so that we can spend our money by giving back to the exact people who are paying us.
All this so that, when we are not at work, we have our television to watch, we have our video games to play, and our pre-packaged food to eat. We have our care to drive, and electricity. We have central air conditioning, and heat. We have a comfy mattress to sleep on, and a toothbrush to keep our teeth nice and white. We work so hard so that when we are not at work, our life is, what we think it should be.
If these companies did not exist, and no one created these luxuries we enjoy so much. If the objects in our homes, and the video games we want do play did not exist, nor the tv shows or movies, nor the luxury car, or boats, nor the fishing rods and cameras, what would we want?
It is indeed a machine. One enormous machine creating the very reasons we tire of work, creating the reasons we would rather stay home to enjoy these items we work so hard for. And as such, in order to obtain these items, and maintain a standard of living, we go out each day, and contribute work into this machine. We are the fuel for which the system burns to churn out the very objects we crave. We resent the fact that we must spend so much of our life doing things we do not want to do, just so that when we get home, we can do the things we want to do.
What it boils down to…
As I am sure you already know, we must work. We, the masses, must have a job to collect our dollars, to buy the things from the companies we work for. All so that for about 4 hours a day, we can truly relax and enjoy our lives, all to go to sleep, wake up, and do it all over again.
The activities we enjoy the most get relinquished to being mere “hobbies”, and we spend but a fraction of our time actually doing the things we love. But, such is life in this world. In a system designed so that all of us humans are merely a means to an end.
Reproducing and raising families has become secondary to work. People cannot afford to have children either due to time, or money constraints. Some people choose to have children when they cannot afford to, and live a live of near poverty, others, decide to never have children because they are too selfish to share their income and wealth with someone else. Then there are the minority of people who have kids, and can easily afford to raise those children properly…properly meaning, providing them with objects they want, providing them with a good education, and steering them in the direction their parents went in, to become another cog.
I know this seems like a gloomy outlook, but in my opinion, it is the truth. Fact is, this is how it is, and how it must be. I just wish I could find a job, a purpose, in life, which I actually enjoyed to some extent and did not dread waking up each day. A job where I could create, a job where I was not subject to the whims and bias of other people, a job where I had the freedom to work as much or as little as I wanted to on any given day.
I guess I should launch a website and cover it with advertising.