Life Sucks, Then You Die

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?

Yup.
Yup.

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.

The machine

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.

13 thoughts on “Life Sucks, Then You Die

  1. I disagree with the notion that everyone hates their job. Perhaps all humans are meant to be, are working machines. Maybe that’s why we derive purpose and satisfaction. Or maybe its the way around and the way we were nurtured feeds our ego when we get something productive accomplished or fuels our guilt when we don’t. Either way, we all have to find our own purpose and since, as you said, work is a fact of life. One can either make work his entire purpose or incorporate it into the whole.

    With any existential argument you can run yourself in circles until you realize, “Oh shit, its time for work.” Or you can simply decide that pondering about it is useless and depressing. That’s the conclusion I came away with from my existential phase anyway.

  2. Well obviously not everyone “hates” their jobs, I don’t even hate my job. The fact is though, given a choice to go to work vs. something else, you’ll usually choose not to go to work.

    Being productive and having purpose is definitely one of the main driving forces behind everyone, myself included. I love feeling productive and I hate feeling useless. Thing is, I do not usually feel entirely productive at work, even when I am getting a lot of work done, mostly because I never see any benefit from my work output. I never see anything extra for the days I work extra hard.

    I think the traditional “job” or “daily grind” is what I am referring to. When I seek purpose, or feel productive, it is most usually not when I am work, I feel 100% more fulfilled and productive each time I make a blog post here then I do after a long day of work.

    I think my overall point was – I wish there was a better way to get by, have the money I need, and not have to go to a traditional job. It all rolls back into my desire to be self employed.

    I do not wish to have the ability to NOT work, I wish to have the ability to set my own schedule, and live my life the way I want to live it, and not by the traditional 9-5 schedule.

  3. I’d argue that you can raise them “properly” in near poverty. With all of the shiny flashy things, and still have them be a good, productive person. (although, I’d hate my kids to turn out to be cogs, who wouldn’t?)

    I agree with you on the non-traditional job/self employment front, though. I work a minimum-wage job with no benefits that I would *love* if it had a boost in either, but I’d love to do something–off the grid. Build a nerd commune. I dunno. I don’t think they worked very well for a reason, and without the nose-to-the-grindstone mass-production thing, that’s pretty much what you’re left with.

  4. I think the traditional “job” or “daily grind” is what I am referring to. When I seek purpose, or feel productive, it is most usually not when I am work, I feel 100% more fulfilled and productive each time I make a blog post here then I do after a long day of work.

    You’ve hit one of my worst fears right on the head, and what’s most depressing is that it’s almost a certainty that I will actually end up in a routine and daily grind. Granted, I’ve been given opportunities that might make my grind more tolerable than soul-killing 9-to-5’s, but I wonder what I would actually do with my life if I didn’t have to fit right into the sequence of “Birth, Infancy, School, More School, Work, Retirement, Death” you mentioned.

  5. I agree with everything you said…for those of us who are smart enough to rub 2 working brain cells together…we will realize eventually that we are all just a bunch of slaves in this pisspot world…The repetitive monotony…maybe one day….we’ll have the money to do whatever…but in the meantime we’ll slave away at our lousy little job…whether you believe in God or not love him/her or hate him/her we are all his slaves…he told me that the other day …the only purpose in life is to chase the dirty dollar…think about how many crack-whores dancing hookers(strippers) bums and other various filthy animals have touched that very same dollar you use to do some coke…enjoy it…then our other slavemaster, the Gov’t will tax our souls some more…whether it is Rep or Dem doesn’t really matter…cuz we’re still their slaves…and they do ingrain in us the 8 hour day from early on because that is the schedule we must soon abide by…Hey at least we’re not all living in China…they have facctories where the slaves(workers) must live there as well and are stationed in dorms for this purpose…I always hated the Jews because they have all the money but even they are slaves and just don’t realize it…they’re prob buzzed from all that coke they’re on

  6. P.S. and death is the best part of life…think about it all these dumb two legged apes(hummans ) have never been able to get along…peace is just the period of time in between wars…people are best at destroying things that’s why we have such a thing called ghettos and impoverished areas and I’m not attacking anyone race when I say this…because there aare all kinds of people living in squalor and sin…and I never had a prob with black folk because I knew growing up down south that I was a slave just like they are but a different color…that actually helped us bond when others of my own white race were racist and doing some stupid ignorant s… So I hope my death will be a glorious one and I can die with a BIG smile on my face and If someone shoots my a.. I will have to thank them before I die for “releasing me from the misery of this world…and hope God doesn’t punish me by reincarnating my cursed soul and sending me back to this hellpit again…AMEN holy Jesus

  7. I stumbled upon this blog site today, and after reading a few of them, this one compelled to respond.

    This blog resonated very strongly within me, because I have had a nearly identical thought process.

    I had a pretty good entry-level IT position for a year with a lot of responsibility that was good experience, and I walked away from it because I couldn’t stand the grind.

    Here’s what I learned: In the real world, there is no such thing as a “9 to 5”. It’s more like a 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. kind of thing, and you only get paid for the “9 to 5” When you add in the prep time and travel time, work ends up dominating a large part of your existence.

    Revelation: The average person is awake 16-18 hours a day, and in a “professional” career, you work 10-14 hrs a day. Assuming you have no errands, chores, family, etc., you get 2-6 hrs of free time per night, and then the carrot, weekends. This is a huge difference from what we are used to as kids or even college students, and suddenly we’re nailed down to one routine for much longer than we’ve really done anything else. All the variety and freedom is gone.

    The “shock” factor is being felt by a lot of our generation, and the word “passion” keeps popping up when we discuss work.

    Humanity has gone through phases where there is a dominant belief system, and we are in the third phase. The first phase was religion, the second nationalism, and now the third, is capitalism. Our icons? The dollar and materialism. I believe there is a serious lack of love in the world behind the motivations of most people. They’ve turned us against each other and we live in concrete jungles where none of us wants to get to know each other.

    You and I agree on the truth about reality, it sucks. We had no choice in this bullshit machine and only realized what all our grooming was for when it was over. We want to reject it, but society does not provide an alternative context, so we’re left confused, frustrated, disappointed…

    My challenge to you: how would the world be if you could change the carrot and the stick?

    My ideal fourth phase in humanity: the belief system changes to humanism, our icon is one another and all our motivations are driven by love, not profit.

    You may say that I’m a dreamer…

  8. You claim that you want to break out of the machine, but you also mention that one step of the machine is your childhood, where you’re taught to over-value money and “success.” If you stop caring about these things, if you stop caring about money, you’ll break out of the machine.

    Of course, you’ll say, it’s hard. You, like everyone else, need food. You need shelter. You even appreciate your video games. But you don’t need those things. Sane people (or not so sane by society’s standards?) have opted to become homeless. Millionaires have given up their life savings for planned destitution.

    So what can we do? You have to find your spot on the machine. At the top rung, you work a monotonous 8-5 job, retire at the age of 65, and lament the fruitlessness of your life on your deathbed. At the bottom rung, you live off $1 donations for you to buy a quick hamburger at McDonald’s before rushing back to your begging-site. Decide how far down the ladder you have to drop before you’ll be happy with your life. Find the deal that will give the best ROI for your life. And once you’ve decided, stop feeling unhappy about the work you have to put into the machine, because it’s exactly what you chose.

    Yes, the cost-benefit ratios are fixed. If you want a nice house, you need to work. If you want quality food, you have to earn money. You’re a pretty smart guy – you can probably create your own job and earn the same amount as others with less hours put in. But you can’t control the fact that you need to work for the bread on your table, so there’s simply no point in being upset about that.

    In my opinion, actually, this topic ties in fairly closely with the idea of free will.

  9. Also, regarding the ‘meaning’ of life: the meaning of anything is, by definition, subjective. Just be optimistic about it! Fate and free will arguments aside, your life is in your hands. The fact that life has no inherent meaning is beautiful — you *get* to choose your own meaning. If you search for a meaning in life itself, you won’t find one. If there was one, it would’ve been taught to you since you were a child. Separate what’s important to you, and (pardon my language) fuck what you’ve been taught: pursue it with a passion.

  10. I like how you say people who do not have children do so because they’re selfish. Have you actually stopped to think that maybe it is because they want to spare them them the misery of being born into this shit planet? Or maybe because they realize kids are leeches not worth having?

    Maybe we’re the smart ones, around here…

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