I’ve been working since I was 13.
I was told that that’s what everyone did or was supposed to do.
Earn a living, right?
But what no one ever told me was that the bargain I was about to strike would mean I lost my soul.
My frigging soul!
In short, the spirit-full ‘me’, the one born into this world and gifted genius (…like us all), would be slowly but surely annihilated on the altar of conformity.
I realise that the bargain struck, if you play dutifully by the Rules of The Game has, for a lot of people, an upside, namely comfort and material wealth but (certainly in my case) I never felt the draw of the heavenly space, and instead, and to this day, felt at odds, dishevelled if you like, by the prevailing and oh-so-dominant narrative to the point where (and this shouldn’t come as any surprise) I didn’t know if I wanted to be part of this world.
I’m always reminded of what Camus said in the Myth of Sysyphus:
“There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says, “and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. — Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Trust me, even allowing for all the wellness, well-being and mental health programmes that have sprouted like mushrooms in a dank place, no amount of workplace airbrushing is going to change the fact or my mind that work is not, as it currently stands*, the place where we’ll rekindle let alone find our soul.
Why am I so sure?
Because work is designed that way.
It’s premised on compliance.
And compliance is the last thing the soul needs.
It needs and has to be free, unbounded, and to be corrupted by all those moribund Rules is not and never will be the place where it comes alive, breathes and exhales deeply and exercises its godly calling.
I realise that I’ve no evidence to support my lofty assertion and that’s fine. I can only tell you what I’ve witnessed and experienced these past 42 years and that all leads to the same place:
Work is not and never will be the apogee of a human life.
We can argue (of course) the semantics of the word work but that’s not really the issue but instead the number of people that simply don’t live as they were born to be, and their soul is driven underground never to show its face again.
One question that always arises and rarely evinces of an answer — in the workplace:
Who am I?
No, you’re not a label, a bushel of learned experiences or the money in the bank.
I’m talking about something outside the ken of our materialistic selves.
Something beautiful like the moon and brighter than the sun.
I could go on but I’ve said my piece — for now.
All I’d say is that whoever invented the Rules of this particular Game never did want you to be free to express yourself.
*If you need to know why work is not remotely human, you might want to read this piece:
“No one should ever work.
Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.”