I asked a few people why they work and they always sayed it was for their families. I get it. Some jobs are not exciting. One needs a better motivation than themselves to keep going at it. Starvation is another big motivation for people to work. Along with things like rent. All these factors drive us to work.
These factors also make work look like an option. Something that we would not… absolutely not do if we could help it. For example, if we could do photosynthesis, no one would be starving. And if water welled up from underground instead of raining and the nights weren’t so cold then shelters wouldn’t be so necessary. And then there would be no rent to pay. Add a little teleportation to that and yep… Working could just be voluntary.
I wonder what people would do then. What would you do? Even if someone is full, inactivity is not fun. Boredom can drive one crazy. I think people would still find things to do. Idleness can perpetuate vice but let’s assume common sense is actually common and people choose to do good things. What would you do? Build a house for fun? Cook just for the different tastes? Make vehicles for the thrill of speed?
Work gets thrust onto us without our input so often that we have never thought of alternative reasons why we work. After eating and resting, we actually need something to do. If we were kids we would play. I don’t know if we still remember how to do that as adults. Maybe that’s what transformed into hobbies. All kids like playing. Not all adults are interested in hobbies.
We should be. Hobbies give us a chance to do something of our own choosing. Something we can control and do at our own pace. Something that we actually enjoy doing. There’s no pressure to get it perfect or satisfy an irate customer who isn’t actually looking for satisfaction. Hobbies give us the power to choose.
In an ideal world work would be something we chose. The world isn’t ideal but that does not mean that our design has adjusted to it. Some things in us still crave for the ideal, even if we don’t recognize it. We know it is there because after finding a hobby that you like you feel really good. The zeal for life returns. We are born with that zeal but somewhere along the way we lose it. I know you want that zeal back. Something to make the time after work a period to look forward to. Or even the weekends. Nowadays we crave time after work just so we can rest. And the result of that is that we have over glorified rest. It has become this symbol of utopia.
But it isn’t. Life is a summation of its different parts, so one thing cannot be an elixir of happiness. If other parts of our lives are not right, we can’t even rest well. If work is stressful or the life after work is in shambles then rest does not bring the relief that it should.
We might not be able to correct the stress at work but we can create a haven to take a break from it. We can invest our emotions in an alternative work that we actually enjoy. The regular, dull work can be an afterthought in our heart. That way we can finally enjoy our rest and be productive in our after-work hours, not just make bad things worse by trying to drown our sorrows in vices after work. It never really makes things better.
For the sake of our mental wellbeing we need this work that we can enjoy. We need a hobby. That’s something that we can choose and choice is what separates freedom from slavery. Slavery is not in our DNA. All creatures like to be free. Absolute freedom is a mirage. There are some things that we still want to attend to, like family. But absolute slavery saps the life out of us. Relative freedom sounds like a good deal. It may even be the best that we can get. And we can get it by doing something of our own making. Music, cooking, carpentry, painting… Whatever is productive and floats your boat. Go for it. Just don’t rush to commercialize it because it could turn into a regular job and then you will have to look for another hobby.