I previously wrote about how Western culture associates busyness with importance.
Yet, this was not a criticism of hard work. Many people have to work hard out of fear; to provide for their families and put food on the table. We live in an economic system where many families live paycheque to paycheque.
But just as we fear unemployment and the loss of income, we also fear the loss of self-importance and social status that comes with not being busy.
One systematic problem is that we yearn for a consumer lifestyle. We think buying more things will make us happy and give us the fulfilment we may be yet to find in our lives.
The consumer culture demands we stay on the ‘pleasure treadmill’.
We must work hard to afford more stuff (bigger, better, the latest). Then, exhausted from our year of hard work, we want an all-inclusive, package holiday to destress. So we need to work even harder to pay for this.
This rat race will continue as long as we allow it and as long as we choose to participate in it.
What do you work for? What are you working (or earning) towards?
(Adapted from and inspired by pp. 202 – 204 of Finding Happiness by Abbot Christopher Jamison)