You know, when saber tooth tigers were roaming around everywhere, I fully get the idea of putting work ahead of personal happiness. Whatever work it took to fend off those fearsome creatures!
I’ll describe the act of putting work ahead of personal happiness. Lets take eating a steak. Yum! It might not be a personal happiness for everyone, but it’s probably a pretty good general example. Okay, it’s yum, but it’s also full of calories. And it takes calories to do work. Its just a mechanically requisite to do work.
So, are you eating the steak to be happy, or are you eating the steak to do work? What is the act of eating it, for?
About here you’ll often find a ‘Have my cake(steak!) and eat it too’ perception. That you can enjoy the steak and then do the work with the calories it provides.
UNTIL you commit to that work, out of a sense of honour or duty or care or love or whatever the hell.
At that point, if you don’t happen to want steak right now, you still have to eat it in order to do the work. Is eating the steak an act of personal happiness now? No, it’s an act of work.
In fact I wouldn’t call it putting aside personal happiness to do work, I’d call it erasing personal happiness to do work. Acts of personal happiness are about being happy for the sake of being happy. They aren’t about being happy so as to achieve some other goal. That doesn’t even make sense to do – whatever the other goal is, you’d want it because it makes you happy – to give up happiness to achieve happiness?
But that’s what our parents told us, isn’t it? You have to sacrifice happiness now to get it latter. And this is where I get back to the saber tooth tigers. Your parents are damn right when it comes to natural disasters and various other things the world throws at us.
But you see, it’s not the world anymore. What surrounds you? Sabre tooth tigers, or people? People who are supposed to be on the same side as you. But people are still setting up a system where you sacrifice happyness now to get it latter. Or if you don’t want to, you are denied the infrastructures resources (IE, your denied money) and can live as a hobo. And that would be ‘your fault’ for slipping into such a lifestyle.
Were still setting up systems where you sacrifice happiness now for happiness latter, as if there are still sabre tooth tigers around. And you know, there are still dangers from the world – global warming, mutating diseases, etc. Also you get nearby countries (like, ahem, just above Australia) with rather…perhaps sabre tooth tendencies? Anyway, I fully grant there is conflict with the world and even with other countries of men who follow incompatible agendas.
But hell, it is not so bad that for food, warmth and shelter, you must bloody well sacrifice happiness now for the happiness of food, warmth and shelter latter.
There is no bloody war going on! Yet the structure keeps running like everyone has to sacrifice or were all doomed. Are we? There doesn’t seem to be anyone talking about us being on the verge of extinction as a country? You know, along with the talk of the latest reality TV, someone might slip in a word or two about you know, us being on the verge of annihilation.
Oh that’s right, they don’t because we aren’t. But we just keep bloody acting like we do, using a system where we all sacrifice happiness now for happiness latter, no matter how little sense that makes without any threat around. Our parents tell us to do it, and theirs before them, and so on a hundred thousand times, because for millions of years we were on the verge of extinction. From what I heard in terms of genetic tracing, the human race was down to two thousand people at one point. Think about that – that would mean all the ones who would work, would live. And be the seed of what we have left today.
Now all that’s left is the reflex to work to live. If you want to complain about your life, how things are monetarily, then you can blame this reflex in yourself and how you support this reflex in other people. The big corporate bastards aren’t screwing you down, you are. Your nurturing a reflex that is completely inapplicable, yet degrades your life. Those corporate bastards certainly work you dry, but without your ‘survival’ reflex and how you congratulate others for working rather than being happy right now, they wouldn’t be able to.
Ask yourself what’s so dangerous that you have to work the next hour, rather than play? And if it isn’t so dangerous, why is it that to get food, warmth and shelter, you must put work first and behave as if extinction is around the corner?