Consumerism, Society

Labor: Take off Your Hard Work Badge, We’re All Wearing It.

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The sad truth is that no one cares about your job. No one cares about how many hours you work, your personal achievements at work, or how loved you are by management. Everyone works and everyone has some measure of stress from their job. Mindless minimum wage work has the hardship of low pay and often little room for gainful promotion. High-paying professional consulting has the benefit of good pay but the punishment of unending hours, mental strains, and a backstabbing culture to move up. Not all jobs are terribly stressful or difficult but stress is a given, it cannot be escaped. Your task isn’t to take pride in your duress but to find a way to enjoy your life on your own terms.

The “I’m a hard worker!” badge is the fool’s uniform. Your employer wants nothing more than for you to center your personal identity on your work output. Motivational speakers and psychology consultants develop incentives, programs, and rhetoric all specifically designed to help you forget that you’re just one of many millions of workers performing largely unfavorable jobs for money just so you can survive. Notice how over the past few years name tags at retailers have transformed from employee, to sales, to customer service, to customer service representative, to associate, to partner. This is why it is imperative that you do not identify with your employer but with yourself. If you start to attribute your personal image to “insert job title here” you will lose yourself completely overtime. Those paychecks will mutate from providing you a way to live into oil running a machine.

Now, should you be truly in love and passionate about your profession that is a whole other scenario and we do not seek to detract from the meaningfulness of anyone’s work.  This piece is written specifically for the battered workers that are treated like excrement every day and expected to swallow their pride because they aren’t good enough for it. Let your fellow man vent, do not fall into the trap of scolding others for their disappointments and frustrations. To attempt to relieve someone of their true feelings is an arrogant and disgraceful practice. Offering a different perspective may help them but to demand that they pep up when they are tired, overworked, or ill from their labor is to act as if they have not labored at all.

This is not to say there are not hopelessly negative people out there that manage to destroy every positive potentiality that comes their way. Identifying these types is easy because they shoot down every opportunity and have too long invested in a victim mentality to ever part with the hubris propping up such poisonous thinking. In effect, for them to take an opportunity would mean to undermine their character image. Avoid them.

Anger and frustration are not bad sentiments if you have the ability to channel them into something useful. Indeed, how else will you liberate yourself constantly diluting your real feelings into cheap feel good phrases and self-deceit? Denying yourself your true feelings about your life will only lead to resentment, confusion, and neurosis. Let your anger be a motivational force and you may manage to do something about your grievances, let it become who you are and you’ll never overcome anything.

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Consumerism, Society

Consumerism: Is this it?

Black-Friday-Chaos

The parades, light festivals, commercials, shows, and sales are all components of the greater consumer complex, showing us that nothing is so sacred as to be divorced of commercialization or free from advertising. It is so often overlooked because it is so prolific. Commercials enter the realm of the absurd and no longer inform us of the uses of a product but instead deliver a music video, comic sketch, or non sequitur to get us to remember the brand with no substantive understanding of what is being sold.

This is all that is hoped for, it is enough to plant the seed in the viewers mind. School buses carry logos and advertisements on their sides as children go to school. Applications across the internet spread various images and sound bites to keep us passively aware of needed products. As we drive to work billboards bombard us on every side. It appears there are few refuges to shield us from the latest consumer craze.

We do not know what is in our food, we do not know how our most cherished gadgets operate, we do not know who whispers in our elected officials’ ears, we do not know what is in the drugs our doctor prescribes us, we do not know where our clothes are from, we do not know how many have to die and suffer to prop up our way of life. We are not sure, if given the chance, if we could part with it. Is possible that we do not deserve it and gained our position from dumb luck? Objective circumstances pertaining to resources and industrial advancement? Maybe.

All of this points to the power of the industrial system, our modern society. We are no longer active participants in many of the functions of our daily life. In many cases we are utterly dependent on the flow and continuation of this system just to survive. Despite all the love for freedom and the promotion of the hard work ethic there still exists a life of confusion and hardship even for those in fortunate countries because for now… this is it.

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