Working yourself to death

Surely, at some point in your life you must have contemplated the reason why you are required to work in order to make a living. Why do so many of us have to spend the best parts of our day sitting behind desks in small cubicles under unnatural light, just so that we can afford a seemingly comfortable life? And how do a minority of people actually manage to live life in luxury while never lifting a finger to do anything that may resemble work? Why can't we all just follow our passions (even if it looks like work), without worrying where we would find the means to pay for food and shelter?

The Jewish/Christian Bible (and possibly texts from other ancient religions too) actually reflects the natural law underlying these thoughts and provides evidence that this law has been known to humans for many millenia: "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground..." (Genesis 3:19).

Food won't just jump into your mouth when you are hungry. Your house is not going to build itself. We all have to expend some energy to obtain our food or to construct our shelters. Even animals and plants and tiny micro-organisms are subjected to this law. In ancient times, you could store some food in a granary so that you would not have to work all year long. In modern times we have the flexibility to store money in bank accounts and lucrative investments to support our hobbies/passions, our toys, our holidays, our children's needs, and of course, our retirement lifestyle. But, even if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, and you never have to do a day's work yourself in your entire life, those funds that support your lifestyle came from energy expended by someone or something at some point in history.

The goal for all of us, is to find a way to expend as little as possible energy to achieve maximum economic gain. But, is that actually possible for every single person on this planet? Or, will it always be attainable by only a minority?

For the past year, I have exchanged the office life for one in which I have freedom to do with my time as I please, but at the cost of lower income. I obviously haven't found my optimal work point yet. But, at least I have had the opportunity to deal with important issues in my life and feel a lot more balanced and invigorated today because of that. Most people suffer all their lives without having that privilege.

Notice how this topic is starting to connect energy with economics. More on that idea in a future post... :)

[Here is my explanation for why you don't see much English on this blog.]

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