Out of the Darkness

The science of post-traumatic growth.

Working Our Lives Away

Working 40 hours a week makes our lives become narrow and constricted, so that we lose sight of whole vistas of possibility—of activity and adventure—outside it. We live with the mistaken idea that work defines us, and should be the primary pursuit of our lives. Read More

YES

It's rare that I come across someone who shares these views.

The idea that work = part of life is so embedded into American society that few stop to really question it. And those who do openly question it are often accused of being lazy or whining.

There's the idea that you can make it if you just work hard enough (which is far from true in reality). Everyone wants to make it, and we're so busy working away our time that we don't see what we really are, which is not so far away from being indentured servants.

Some say work is a choice, except not really. Unless you're born into wealth or inherit it there's really no choice.

I agree that we could shorten work days and work much more efficiently than we do now. I also think there needs to be a shift away from seeing work as the meaning of life. So many jobs are tedious, repetitive, and unrewarding yet people wondering what's wrong with themselves when they don't feel fulfilled. The job itself is actually the problem.
In fact, the entire work culture is the biggest problem.

What's the Solution?

I agree wholeheartedly! So now that the three of us know the truth, what's the solution? I wasn't born to wealth so I'm not going to inherit anything, but I still want to have a roof over my head, and food to eat.

Help! Need answers to this conundrum, quick...

It's sort of obvious

that more people would thrive if the work week were shortened. A dirty little secret called "labor unions" helped do this for a little while, by increasing wages for working people and helping them get more time off -- does anyone remember when the five-day work week was a radical concept? Thanks to labor unions, a weekend off is now expected.

You can write all the essays you want and fume about how unfair it all is, but the only way to put work in its place is to ORGANIZE. Corporations are not going to give us more time off out of the goodness of their hearts. And banks, landlords, utilities and grocery stores are not going to lower our bills so that we can live on less. It's not easy but it will be worth it for our children and their children etc.

Don't agonize, ORGANIZE!

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Steve Taylor Ph.D., is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University and a researcher in transpersonal psychology at Liverpool John Moores University.

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