Work is a necessary evil to be avoided. -Mark Twain
Mark Twain was not being cynical rather realistic when he said that work is something to be avoided. Simply because work is an abstract concept existing only inside the human imagination.
Self-help industry has offered a great deal of literature over the last few decades on how to love your work and how to be the best leader and whatnot. Despite this, the Gallup survey shows that an overwhelming figure of 85% of employees are not engaged or happy at their work. Combine it with the fact that millennials are increasingly finding it difficult to work in banal organizational practices.
Ever since the classical times we can find examples of work being an undesired thing. It is there in our jokes, literature, and even philosophy. But most importantly it is in our education, which has lately turned its focus to preparing the students solely for the working population. Ironically, the education system teaches us how to make a living instead of teaching us how to live.
Survival of the Fittest
Social Darwinism has had a great impact on how we human beings carry out our day to day life. The unwholesome idea of “survival of the fittest” by Herbert Spencer combined with advanced Capitalist dynamics have turned human life into a rat race.
Based on just one sided view of reality that advocates struggle for survival, all we have is one human individual pitting against another. The idea of “life is competition” has overshadowed the innate real human nature of being productive and benevolent.
In existential reality, there is harmony, synergy, complementarity between species instead of competition. This experiment by National Research Tomsk State University is a new finding on how species evolved. The researchers have pointed out that interdependence of species is the essential feature of evolution. The idea of competition is incomplete knowledge which can be expanded to understand reality.
Likewise, Human beings as species have evolved to coexist as well and not compete against one another. The real human nature is being social and cooperating in groups. But the unwholesome view of life has forced human beings to live like peasants on planet Earth, whereas Nature has endowed them with traits to live an enlightened blissful life.
What’s this thing called “WORK” Really?
Understanding work and its role as a facet of our total life will give us clarity.
Birth begins with different human relationships. As sentient beings we need to understand these relationships by discharging the obligations in them. Food, clothing and shelter are the needs of the family. It takes mental and physical labor to produce more than what is required. Living and work are one, with the latter being the efforts put in to utilize the natural resources that are already available in abundance.
Understanding the various laws, recycling methodology and using the skills, knowledge, and expertise to create consumable products to fulfill human needs is Work.
The needs of humanity can be classified into two types:
1. Needs that can be measured and recur at definite intervals.
2. Needs that can not be measured and are qualitative. Are needed continuously.
Physical needs like food, clothing, shelter fall under the first category. Love, trust, belonging, are the needs that fall under the second category. Physical needs are required in a limited amount, fulfilling them beyond that leads to obsession, insecurity, and fear. The needs of love, trust, belonging are infinite and something only a human being can give to another. They are capable of being produced infinitely as well as consumed infinitely.
Human beings need to work to create enough of both to live in a satiated and resolved way.
Work and Professionalism
Work became skewed when human beings invented the concept of ownership and started depriving others of resources that are supposed to be distributed equally.
People have started faking productivity and avoiding work and consider behaving in a way that is inconsistent with what they feel.
This is an important thing for the business leaders to understand. They need to make sure that the employee and the employer both are on the same side of the table.
Gone are the days when people were called a cost center and needed to be optimized. Nowadays employees are the social investment and add value to the transactive memory valuation of the company.
Transactive memory - Wikipedia
Transactive memory is a psychological hypothesis first proposed by Daniel Wegner in 1985 as a response to earlier…
Forward thinking employers give utmost importance to the ‘experience’ which each employee has with other employees. Such employers are always working to create good valuation at each employee level.
Does the concept of “Work” exist in reality at all?
Work as a concept is artificial and it does not exist in existence.
Reality is just living. As newly evolved human beings, we had no clue of what we are supposed to do with advanced powers given to us by nature. We exercised our own imagination and created the modern world out of our ideas. We created different walks of life such as work, personal life, social life etc. when the truth is that all of these fall under “living”.
Human imagination is such that whatever we can think of to make life comfortable, we can actualize it using our intelligence and efforts. But, in each and every endeavor that humanity takes up, our existential purpose should always be to use that capability to help mankind achieve its ultimate goal i.e. happiness. We should not be focused on imaginary concepts like net worth, GDP, or income based assessment of individuals.
Science has already explained the laws of how things work and producing stuff according to those laws brings predefined results. What remains is understanding what is of use to us and filtering out what isn’t.
Once that is done humanity will identify their real needs and move towards community living instead of participating in a mad race in an individualist society. As a result we will see better economic prosperity and redistribution of the natural wealth for the needs of all the 7.7 billion.
Clearing the Air
Basically work is just putting efforts on resources available in nature and adding value to the products for the benefit of mankind. Any activity that is being done without this objective is a waste of effort and leads to exploitation of the planet. The economic theory of work based on the scarcity mentality is incorrect and has been the bane of humanity.
The novel theory of coexistence that I am putting forward, holistically covers all the facets of human living. It shows everything in one big picture instead of breaking them into compartments and creating a separate reality of each.
I am sure the philosophy of coexistence will help the human race to value things in reality and not in fictitious imaginary concepts. For instance, 1 KG of potato has a universal nutrition value across time and across location. There is nothing like inflation, future contracts, or glut in the value of 1 Kg of potato.
This economics is based on direct experience of abundance in existence and not from scarcity as the current ADAM SMITH system does. This holistic theory of life is currently being experimented on and practiced by many human beings around the globe. Many OFFGRID living experiments , farm to family, self cultivation are all going on around the world. They are all changing the definition of work.
Existence is Coexistence
We can exist only if all others exist. Human needs of physicochemical nature (body) are finite and available in abundance on this planet. If only a few sects stop depriving the larger mass of human beings of these basic needs, we would be creating heaven on the planet.
Since we human beings are sentient beings, the needs of value are permanent and infinite. Only human interactions can generate and fulfill these needs of love, trust, truth etc.
Becoming better human beings and fully understanding the needs for human values in other human beings will be possible if we switch off our connection to all the noise created by marketing.
I have written posts on other topics in this challenge: Space, Death, and Reentry and would love to hear your thoughts on the same. I would like my readers to share any topic on which I should write in the context of the Coexistence philosophy.