Tuesday, September 01, 2009

why work?

A few bits of wisdom on reasons NOT to work...

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Luke 12:25-26

Take no thought for your life,
What you shall eat;
Nor of the body,
What you shall put on.
Life is more than food,
And the body is more than clothing.
Consider the ravens:
They neither sow nor reap;
They have neither a storehouse nor barn;
And God feeds them.
Aren’t you much more valuable than the birds?
Luke 12:22-24

In The House at Pooh Corner, Christopher Robin has just asked Pooh a question:
“What do you like best in the world, Pooh?”
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best –“ and then he has to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey WAS a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you begin to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.
--- The Tao of Pooh

The clouds above us join and separate,
The breeze in the courtyard leaves and returns.
Life is like that, so why not relax?
Who can stop us from celebrating?
--- Japanese haiku

You can find teachings from almost every religion and philosophy in the world something of this sort: Just be and everything will be all right. This Principle is most prominent in Taoism and Zen Buddhism but it can be found also in most of the world’s major faiths.
It seems a nice Principle but it also makes you stop and think if it is really feasible. You will begin to think after a while: “If I will just spend my time sitting and contemplating the passing clouds, how the heck would I survive? Would God really send ravens to bring me scraps of bread to eat?”
I think the Principle does NOT suggest that one cease to make a living completely. It only emphasizes that the main reason for our existence in this world is to LIVE and not to make monthly reports, or attend meetings, or worry about things that are beyond our grasp.
Work is essentially time spent for others, be it for your boss, for your co-workers, clients, or for humanity. I believe that when the time spent for others exceed the time spent for oneself, something is amiss in the Order of Things.

We work like mad because our society tries its best to convince us that there is a Great Reward waiting for us somewhere, and that what we have to do is spend our lives working like lunatics to catch up with it. Whether it’s up in the sky, behind the next molecule, or in the executive suite – it’s somehow always further along than we are.


Blogger michal said...

thank you very much for this insightful (yet bordering on sedition) thoughts.

3:54 PM  

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Random thoughts on politics, social issues, money, finance, sex, humor, stupidity, or just about anything, of a hatemonger, an obsessive-compulsive, and a schizophrenic forced to live in a cramped and humid apartment.