on being too busy to sleep and exercise01 Dec 2016
this is an extension of the post i was writing yesterday about being too busy to sleep and exercise.
something i’ve learned from being a part of the infinite growth program is that we all have strengths and weaknesses but some of those are accentuated or hindered by systemic forces in our society. for example, you may naturally be a hard worker but when society rewards men for overworking whereas it punishes women for that, the impacts of society on your well-being affect how you build a healthy personal system. i bring this up because of the two points i wanted to expand on from yesterday’s post.
first, i think that overwork of highly-educated, highly-skilled people is a significant part of why our society isn’t moving forward as quickly as it could. part of that is because overwork undermines our society’s capacity to love well. the other part is that individuals not having limits on how much work they’ll do means that corporations get to hire fewer people. if paying one person 100k had the same societal implications as paying two people 50k, that would be fine. but i would argue that full employment has better societal outcomes than paying a few people tons of money and requiring everyone else to work for low wages or be rely on public resources & services. there are many reasons for that, but i think at the very least, it’s because i think we need a society where everyone and everyone’s work is valued. when some people’s work is highly valued (think computer programmers and ceos) while other people’s work (childcare, cooking, art) is under-valued or not valued at all, this is problematic.
second, i think the current work structure in our society (i have friends working in silicon valley who think that their 120k salary is small and other friends who are still driving for raises and bonuses on top of their ~450k/year salary) makes it possible for some people to find all their meaning in their work. this makes it easier to create & maintain class divisions.
i think it takes empathy and relate-ability for people to love each other. and it is really difficult for someone who makes 120k to understand the life of someone who makes less than 40k. whether it’s a language barrier or a physical segregation based on housing or a cultural (the daily life of someone who owns multiple homes is very different from someone who has rented for their entire life, for example) barrier, it’s just really hard.
so what do i think that means? i think the means we need to find more ways to get people whose skills are highly valued right now to defect from capitalism and consumerism (my friend caroline’s workshops on ‘enough’ might be one good way to start very soon…). i think fixing our socioeconomic system will require pressure on many sides and one of those sides is getting wealthy people to stop believing that wealth is more valuable than almost everything else.
note: today i’m starting to add writing time and research, formatting, & editing time to the footnotes on my posts. it’s mostly for me, but i think it might be interesting for other people, too.
spell-check, link-finding, & formatting: 4:40