Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Meaning in Doing

One of the push backs on the idea of a Universal Basic Income is the belief that needing to work is a necessary motivation. That if we didn't have to work, many of us would just sit on the couch, drinking and watching TV. I don't believe in the idea of 'work for work's sake' - a job that is done to kill time, or keep someone occupied so they don't get up to mischief (idle hands are the devil's workshop). 

We are largely awful at handling leisure time. Some people are scared of free time. We often spend more time thinking about how to treat clients and colleagues than we spend on our most important personal relationships. They get relegated to the 'when I have time and energy' pile. 

Most of our education goes into thinking about how to work. We don't go to school to help us figure out what to do on weekends. Work is the default. Work is the meaning delivery device. We don't wake up in the morning and think if there is work to do. We get up and go. The work expands to fill the time allocated. There will always be more. The lucky ones have jobs where there is meaning in their work. Where even if the concept of money didn't exist, they would carry on doing what they are doing. Where work is more than need.

The questions of giving meaning to what we do is a more interesting one than just making sure we have to do something. 

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