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What Exactly Are We All Working For?

I’m still the same guy that wrote that book about how silly it is that we are all working, all the time, to get what we want – out of life. Now seems like a pretty good time to ask? What exactly is it that we want again? A Tesla model S? The latest iPhone? Owning (and still paying taxes, insurance, and other annual fees on) real estate?
Better shoes? To get laid? To lose weight? To pay more taxes and have a higher credit rating?

I’m still confused why we are doing this. Are we working so we can pay for the stress and lifestyle related diseases that come from working? Or so we can have insurance to cover those conditions? Are we working so we can enjoy our days off? Are we working for paid vacation? Are we working so we can go to a restaurant and eat a home cooked meal with fresh ingredients? Because I’m going to be honest here – none of that makes sense at all.

Are we working so that we don’t have to work later and can afford to not work later? Because that seems to be something that doesn’t happen much anymore – so we might as well stop working and enjoy the moment.

I can’t say I work for any of those reasons, but I’ve certainly worked for all of them. I think (and I’m not positive about this) that I work because I am conditioned to work and conditioned to enjoy the gratification that comes with earning money – actually, I think that is why we all work. I think that the problem then becomes what to do with the money so that we will feel compelled to work more and get more money. And as humans, we’ve become so good at finding money sinks and creating money sinks that we are all in a sort of awful downward spiral as we work our species (and many others) into extinction. It’s a type of neurosis – and, I want you to know, it’s hard as hell for me to describe it or be the clinician diagnosing the disease because I too am caught in it.

I remember reading about the destruction of human civilization on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) – they got obsessed with building these bigger and bigger Moai (head statues) and in the process stripped their island bare and wiped out their means of survival – but they built some fabulous heads that have lasted to this day – but their culture, their population, their descendants – no such thing – extinct, gone, wiped out by human obsession. So, here we are. Ignoring what really matters but making some big fucking heads – here’s the funny thing – the rich guys that built those heads – they had their moment of pride, I’m sure, they were like “Hey, look at this, the biggest fucking head ever. I’ve made Rapa Nui great again.” and all the workers that did the back breaking labor of carving, feeding the workers, growing the food to feed the workers, cutting the trees to make rollers, and everything else – maybe they were proud too – but today? Nobody knows who any of them were and except for a handful of archaeologists and historians, no one even cares. They all were a part of the process that fucked themselves into extinction.

Yes, by all means. Let’s work. And this is a good point to tell my new favorite joke – Three dealers were trapped on a deserted island that had nothing but coconuts on it and one asked another “How’s business?” “It’s never been better!” the other enthusiastically replied and they went back to selling each other coconuts again.

Indeed. Business has never been better.