in a post-work society, roles in community will be much more important22 Sep 2016
last night i had a really nice convo with two friends (annemarie and louise) in nyc. during our wandering conversation, we got on the subject of work and the problems with “following your passions.” as most people know, there are are many structural problems with trying to make a living out of your passion. some of them are because of the structure of our economies. we economically value things that don’t line up with the passions of people. in fact, some of the most highly paid work doesn’t add value to anyone’s life other than generating more money. and other work that actually is valuable is undervalued (art, for example).
there are many more, but one of the more fundamental problems we discussed is how strongly people in america tie their identity to their work/job. we need a cultural shift to get away from this. i’ve written about my alternatives to the “what do you do” question and hope that that can be part of the shift.
but i also believe that we are going to need other things to identify with when we stop relying on work so heavily. the vision i mapped out during the conversation was something along these lines (and inspired by boggs’ thinking her book the next american revolution):
- young people in any society should be supported to be visionary and imagine what’s next. because they haven’t existed or been shaped by existing systems, their dreams should shape where we’re going.
- elders, having seen a few generations of people and change should be repositories of history and information. as knowledge bearers, they should be guiding (but not controlling) the progress of society with their wisdom and experience.
- middle-aged people should act as bridges between the young and the elders. having the most amount of energy and just the right ability to understand the elders and the youth, they should be tasked with building and evolving societal systems.
ok. that’s all i got for now.