This last post in the series Life and Reality (at least for now 😉 ) will take on the subject of our role in what we have defined as “reality” in my last post. More precisely, it will be about our role in the social reality we live in, and how our personal reality might come and clash with it at times. So what’s more important: what we want to do with our lives, or what society requires us to do??
So first of all, what are the possibilities we have when it comes to our own life, or rather, to the aim we have in life?? The two main categories under which various answers could come up are possibilities coming from outside of us, and possibilities arising from within us. The first category incorporates everything that dictates to us what we do from an outside perspective, for example the plans our parents have for us, or the role society wants us to take on. I admit that both examples are very broad, since any of those could “impose” a multitude of chosen paths on us, but the main point still remains that we do not have a say in it, that it is simply what we “have” to do. Our parents may have certain plans for us, like to continue their legacy, or to take on a job that will be (usually) monetarily rewarding, and socially acceptable. This is just to say that it is a restriction put on us that is closer to home than saying society imposes it on us, but it all boils down to what the outside world tells us we “should” be doing. Society, in this case, simply represents the cultural norms associated with our life direction, and so I must admit that I am biased (like all of us are) by the fact that I grew up in the so-called “Western Society”.
The cultural norms most frequently associated with a direction in life is that we should accomplish x number of steps in our academic life, in order then to have a well-paying job, out of which we will be able to make a career to which we will stick our whole lives. Surprisingly, this ideal norm contains various problems, the first of which is to even figure out what one should do for his/her whole life. This also seems to imply a rather static way of life, for one can hardly build a career while traveling the world frequently, unless that person is lucky enough to have a job that requires them to do so. This also means that one will most likely spend his/her whole life under the authority of some kind of boss or supervisor, which once again, seems to rather limit the freedom one may possess. This is not to say that all supervising is bad, because there always needs to be a leader for any project to work, even if it is simply to get all the participants organized. Also, what if I don’t want to define my life vis-a-vis the job I am doing?? Is what I do for money really defining me as a person?? I believe that there is always more to us than what I do to sustain myself, since we cannot avoid the necessity of money, hence what we do to obtain it does not define us wholly. So yeah, it would seem that choices imposed on us from the outside will not only be unsatisfactory (since they don’t always coincide with what we actually wanted) but also makes us feel powerless when it comes to the choices we can make for ourselves.
Jobs are not everything. They might come and go, but no matter what, we will be stuck with ourselves for as long as we are alive. Which is why I argue that we should break the cultural norm of the necessity of working for our whole lives, simply for the sake of making the machine run, or because we “ought” to do so. Yes, we do need money in order to sustain ourselves (sadly), but in an ever-evolving world, there are always new ways to make a living, which would not necessarily require us to sell our souls for the benefit of one profit-hungry corporation. We should be the first and foremost priority for ourselves, and this is why we should not devote our lives to “working for the sake of working” because we might miss out on experiences which make us being sentient creatures worth it.
To conclude, the only viable option for when it comes to working, is simply to do what we really enjoy, even though we might have to do some tasks which are less pleasant in order to achieve that goal, but the important part is that we choose what it is we do. We are in control of our own lives, and money is not worth selling your soul to a greedy boss, because the misery brought to you by a certain job will never compensate the years you have lost earning that money. We are born free, and so we shall live, not waiting until we are old enough to retire to finally enjoy life. Life is now, not when we are older, because we may never know what can happen until then. Enjoy it while it lasts!!
Until next time,