We work to live?

Is it sad that we spend so much time and energy during our, relatively few, years of existence trying to acquire money?

Not to me. What better use for our time than feeding the family and providing them with a certain level of comfort?

Beats living in a loin cloth with vermin, disease, having to hunt and fashion every tool ourselves as well as having to deal with the elements.

Would you prefer a barter system, where we work directly for food and clothes and DVDs?

It is, but without it, no computer, no dope, no roof, no toilet no food. The alternative is live in dirt. I am not rich. I’m no saint but I give and do what I can for others. What are you going to do? Live until you die. Do what you can. Help those you can. I dont want to drag Jesus into it but I’m going to anyway. Try to love one another.

Huh? Expanding our minds, helping the environment, getting involved in the arts, learning instruments, creating beauty - I can think of almost anything that is better than working for your whole life.

Unfortunately, the reality is that we have to work.

Only if you choose a profession that you have absolutely no interest in. But even then, providing for your loved ones might make even that acceptable, if there isn’t a viable alternative.

But we should recognize that money = status and power, and that’s what most people are really after. We are, in the end, just another species of social primate in which status and power is the way one insures the best chance of propagating one’s own genes-- even if our technology has allowed us to decide, consciously, when we will have children and when we won’t.

Are you implying that none of those things could be work?

Ideally, everyone’s work would contribute something positive to the world, whether it’s creating beauty or keeping toilets clean.

Letting my kids starve to death while I learn to play the bagpipes or contemplate the whichness of why? Doesn’t sound very fulfilling to me.

Its not sad…its reality. We’ve (well, the majority of us) ALWAYS worked our relatively few years to aquire…the things we need to survive. Be it money or scrounging for snacks, breaking our backs in the fields or trying to put a spear in a mammoth. Do you think THOSE things were exactly fulfilling?


You can’t do those things through work?

Expanding our minds - I like to think this happens to me almost daily at work.
Helping the environment - Well we’re constantly substituting parts lately that are RoHS compliant. That’s part of my job.
Getting involved in the arts - Not so much.
Learning instruments - Nope. Not interested.
Creating beauty - What the heck does that mean?

I can just picture some Egyptian farmer a few thousand years ago saying “Its sad that I have to break my back in this field to give the nobility the lions share of my crops.”


People make livings doing all of those things, however, most people don’t make good livings doing those things.

In a very simple sense, most members of the tribe will be involved in the mundane stuff that is making sure the tribe is fed and has shelter. There may be room past sustenance for someone whose job it is to tell stories or create art in a large tribe, but the sweet potatoes don’t harvest themselves while we all make art. Since making art is cool and harvesting sweet potatoes is tough work, most of us would rather be artists, but the tribe would starve.

Yes. For those who do so, it is sad, particularly if the quest for money distracts people from higher pursuits. I would remind you, as others have already pointed out, that some people manage to merge money-making with the higher pursuits, and in that case it is not sad.

What percentage of the populace is at work right now? Half of them are kids, another quarter are retired, and a third are non-employed layabouts. Add in the handicapped shut-ins, prisoners, and the insane, and the homeless, and only 5 people do all the work. It’s a statistical fack.

Granted, we are not breaking our backs like that (although it could be argued that sitting 8-10 hours a day in front of a computer does damage your back), but I think the “lion’s share” comment applies today.

Just compare the salary of the average worker vs the salary of the CEO of that company. The CEO seems to be reaping the lion’s share of the reward from the emplyoee’s work. Not to mention all the damn taxes we pay.

Well…I don’t think your average serf would agree with the modern definition of ‘lions share’. Lets think about the key difference…in one, you are working your ass off and if the weather just happens to be poor your family might starve to death because you still had to pay your taxes to the local guy with a big knife. In our modern terms you might not be able to get that big screen plasma TV this year…or maybe you won’t be able to get a new car and instead have to make due with the old piece of shit you have driven for years now. Even at the lowest end of the spectrium of our society (in the US anyway) we aren’t talking about the possibility of your family literally starving to death because you had to give up all your food to pay your taxes.

I also don’t think its comparable sitting in front of a computer (which is essentially what I do, mostly :)) to breaking your back in the fields (which is what my recent ancestors did).

Different debate…but I’d say comparable worth to the company would cover most of the disparity. The janitor has less impact on the success or failure of the company than the CEO does…and is therefore compensated less.

This is vastly different than the dubious comparable worth of a guy with a big knife taking all your food simply because he HAS a big knife. Your choices were much more limited…after all, you could always start your own company and become the CEO, or go to work for some other blood sucking company, ehe? :slight_smile:


Wait, is that supposed to be a description of the modern worker? I only ask because it certainly not a description of the serf in the Middle Ages. The serf was guaranteed half of the fruits of his labor. He was also guaranteed the ownership of a plot of land on which to grow food for his family. A modern-day laborer is not guaranteed either of those things.


I was just saying that the concept of you working all day while some “higher up” making a whole lot of profit from your labor, without doing a whole lot of work, is something that is still with us today.

I’m pretty sure the King of England or the Pharaoh could give an excuse just as good as this one
“I ensure the safety and prosperity of England/Egypt, whereas you, the lowly serf, only grow wheat, and contribute next to nothing to England’s/Egypt’s overall safety and prosperity” :slight_smile: