Have you ever met a person, alive in all the physical ways, but dead inside? These are the people who drain you emotionally, distress you, bore you. For example, over my life I have had numerous hobbies, one in particular was the making of my own comic books. Almost to the person, people I have allowed to see my work, or mentioned my endeavor to, have inevitably asked why I would do it. Does it make you any money they would ask. Does it improve your skills which can be offered to an employer. It’s a hobby for crying out loud, not a job.
Work, work, work, no time for leisure. From sun up to sun down these people, these burned out shells of human beings, do nothing but that which garners them income, or some means to earn more. They have no hobbies unless they provide some means to increase their wealth. Children, if they have them, are an investment, a tax deduction, forced to emulate their parents, or pushed into service should the parents be self-employed. Children who soon die inside, seeing work as their only purpose. To live is to work, living in and of itself seen as something to avoid.
Sometimes I wonder if these people, perpetually busy, are simply afraid to pause a minute for inner reflection. To discover that one is shallow and devoid within and possessing nothing to reflect upon would be depressing. To face oneself, and find oneself wanting, disappointing. Automatons would suffice to replace such people. They are in fact organic automatons. If you try to talk to them you find that any topic outside of, not related to work, is avoided.
Simple indulgences, like viewing the stars at night, instead of being a time of wonder for these automatons is considered either a waste of time, or is mutated into some science lesson. To express awe and wonder is beyond these empty shells. A bicycle ride for them is not a pleasant outing, instead it becomes an intensive training exercise, to keep them healthy so that they will be more capable of doing more work. They surely are an employer’s dream.
The human psyche needs, I think, moments of physical idleness, moments to think. An appreciation for one’s state in life cannot be developed without reflection.
I have had to work twelve hour days. I know the fatigue, the heavy brow, the slothful shuffle after such days, when it is a even a chore to brush your teeth before bed. I know the dread generated from the knowledge that tomorrow will be the same. You look forward to a weekend earned, a happiness tempered from the realization that it is just a pause between the week you have just survived and the next. Life is so short, does it have to be like this? Retirement becomes a treasured goal. Even so, there are employers, and people, who would deny you that. Corporations, big and small, would rather have willing slaves whose only desire is to work until they drop. Employment offices become merely Human Resources offices. If one body falls you simply replace it with another.
There are other types of people who bother me, but these workaholics bother me most. These automatons who lurch to work each day, whose every waking moment is spent working, if not at the job, at home. These slaves that know not that they are slaves. The perfect employee. Envy them, I do not.