Why do we work so hard in life? Primarily for money. Money to pay the mortgage, rent, electric bills, car loan, insurance, fuel, furnishings, phone, clothes, food for children and all the family expenses. The more you have, the more you’ll need to keep that level up.
WORDS BY DARRAGH QUINN
We work and work, week in week out, year in year out, to make money. Just to pay for all these bills and possessions like everyone else. Do we even want to work? Do we like what we are doing? Do we have any choice? Are we human robots making products and services to buy and use? Do we even need these products and services or are we led to believe we do by the people that sell them? Work takes up so much of our lives. We live for the day we get paid and for the weekend when we are free.
We also work because we need to eat and put food on the table. There is certainly no argument there. Let’s look at it from a non-realistic, ideological, fantastical point of view. Imagine if we did not need money to buy food and if we worked at what we enjoy just to sustain life’s basic requirements…
Food is widely and freely grown above and below the ground in most parts of the world. Some types are grown naturally by ourselves while others are mass produced in factories. It is, of course, a necessity for human life and survival. So what gives anyone else the right to essentially say that they are going to sell this food to you for money so you can eat and survive and if you don’t have money then you won’t get any food? You now face the possibility of dealing with hunger or starving to death. As we know, this is all too common in the modern world. Who has allocated the right to living or dying? All for sustenance, much of which was grown freely on the planet long before we existed. Food for thought as it were!
So what would you do if you didn’t have to work at a job you don’t enjoy? A job you do to buy those things you’re supposed to need like everyone else? How would you spend your time? What are you good at doing that you enjoy and could possibly make a living out of? These questions may account for nothing in the reality of how you choose to live your life and maybe you might dismiss them as being naive. However, are they not worth even a little thought? Can you imagine a life where you only owned the possessions that you actually needed to live your life, working at something which you enjoyed doing? Are we exactly the same in our needs and abilities as all the other humans making the same products and services that we supposedly can’t live without? Surely each one of us is more unique than that.
So who are the ones that are free from having to work for money? The ones who are rich already. The ones who have either worked for it or maybe are born into it. They may choose to work, or not. They may need to sustain the level they are at, or not. Are they happy? Who knows. The ones who have the natural gifts don’t usually call it work. The sports stars, music stars, successful artists and writers. As the famous singer Tom Jones said, “I haven’t worked a single day in over 50 years, I turn up and do what I love, what I’m good at and that ain’t work”. They are the lucky minority.
What if we lived more basic lives with more basic requirements? Does the bigger house or the extension make life better? Is the bigger and faster car necessary? The expensive phone, the fashionable clothes, excesses of food, drink and entertainment. Even if you could afford it, are you modest and strong enough to drive a smaller car, live in a smaller house, have an older model phone, wear unfashionable clothes? Are you bothered about what other people think? Or are you able to see past that and be content with just what you need. Are you able to make a modest living with something you enjoy doing and still provide the basic needs for yourself and your dependents? Are you able to raise your family with a confidence and a knowledge that not all modern excesses are necessary or indeed mentally healthy? Is there the willingness to go off the grid to an extent whilst still living in the middle of it? Would we even want to? Maybe not.
We have an average life expectancy of 900 months and of those we will spend around 300 months working, around 300 months sleeping and if you are halfway to 75, you have only about 450 months left to live!
So how much of your life are you going to live? Really live?