I enjoy many things. For example, on the weekend I often go cycling and last night I went a run. I even manage to write some stuff now and again. However, if you asked me to do any of those things – note, things that I enjoy – a regimented eight hours a day five days a week, I would almost certainly start to dislike them. So why do we expect work to be any different?
I’m probably romanticising, but I’m guessing things wouldn’t have been like that back in the good old days when we lived in the forest and had a high chance of being eaten by something with big pointy teeth or dying horribly from a common cold. I guess in those times we worked when we had to, ie when we were hungry, and the rest of the time was pretty much up to us, leaving us to sit about grunting or poking the mysterious fire to our heart’s content. So why do we think that sitting in an office for forty hours a week is sensible?
And what is it we are working for exactly?
‘Well if we don’t work hard the economy will go into recession and that would be terrible!’ said a made up Tory politician (I’m pretty sure they say that kind of thing all time.)
But don’t they get it? The economy, money, recessions, they’re all made up! They don’t really exist. It’s just some convention that we’ve all agreed to work by and could just as easily stop working by and do sometime else instead. It would be like going to another planet and finding out that they worked only because if they didn’t the giant bunny rabbit of death would come and eat them. On further questioning we find that they are all perfectly sensible people and know that the bunny thing is… well… nonsense. ‘But that’s just the way we’ve all ways done things on this planet, so no point in changing that.’ So what it we are working for? I can understand a scientist, doctor or someone talking about the advancement of the human race etc, but for most of us our jobs are not like that and what we do is simply production for the sake of production with no real benefit to mankind what so ever. In fact with the way the environment is going we’re probably doing harm.
Another of those fallacies is that if we stopped forcing people to work, then nothing would get done, but again that is total nonsense. Just look at the internet and be proved wrong. A five minute search and you’ll find load of free programs, stories,games and music that people have spent a lot of time and effort making, not for financial gain, but because they wanted to. People are not lazy, we just think we are because we are so tired from working on stuff we don’t like all the time, but give people a month off and once they’ve spent a some time recovering, suddenly the urge to work will come and it wort be work it will be work .
So here’s a not really thought out idea to consider. How about we take the jobs that people don’t really like doing (making shoes and cleaning sewers stuff like that) and divided them up between everyone in the country. Hopefully that works out as about three or four days a week for most. The rest of the days are then ours to work on doing whatever we want. You want to be a teacher, teach. You want to be a writer, write. Okay so we might be a little less productive, but we’d certainly be a lot more happy.