by Kenneth Justice
“It’s not FAIR Kenneth, I shouldn’t have to work at a boring job, I should be able to do something that I enjoy” she said.
~ I was talking to a twenty-five year old young woman last week who complained to me about the perceived “injustice” of having to work a job she didn’t love. She believed that she has the “right” to work at a job she enjoys. Unfortunately, the various people I meet like this young woman (both men and women) tend to live off of their parents, many of them still live in their parent’s basement well into their thirties.
The reality of life is that most jobs aren’t that much fun. Digging ditches, working at a water sewage treatment facility, working for a garbage company, working in janitorial service, the list is virtually endless of dirty, smelly, nasty, and boring jobs.
This all leads me to a simple question; when did we begin teaching people in Western Culture that work is always supposed to be fun?
Could it be that our entertainment soaked culture, spawned by television, movies, and video games, has programmed our youth into believing that every moment of every day is supposed to be as exciting as flying through some virtual video game and searching for buried treasure?
I talked with a high school teenager recently who told me that their goal was to go to college to become a video game programmer or player; “I want to be one of the people that test the video games and give reports on them” he said. Essentially, he wants to play video games and get paid for it! I didn’t burst the young man’s bubble by asking him if he knew how many jobs actually existed in the entire world in which people got paid for playing video games all day, I can’t imagine the number is as high as janitorial positions.
But working a boring or difficult job doesn’t mean you are throwing your life away. Take for instance Laurant Lavoisier who discovered The Law of the Conversation of Energy; he was an accountant! Working in France shortly before the revolution, this accountant worked long hours six days a week. During an era when there was no television and no radio to turn on and zone out in front of in the evenings, every Sunday (his only day off) he performed scientific experiments, not having any background or training in science, it was merely a hobby he developed to offset the exhaustion of working a difficult job.
Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that too many young people these days have bought into a false bill of goods; they (incorrectly) believe that their “happiness” and their “enjoyment” are the most important things they should be focusing on every minute of every day. I’ve had countless young adults tell me, “all that matters is whether I’m happy or not”. Well, sorry to burst their bubble, but being happy is NOT the most important thing in life. Doing what is right, being ethical, being moral, and being a honest and good citizen are more important!
After all, extremist militants believe they are pursuing their happiness as they terrorize villages throughout the Middle East, torturing and murdering innocent men, women and children. These extremists are NOT being good citizens. These extremists are NOT acting morally. The extremists are NOT acting ethically.
Pursuing our happiness should not be our primary goal in life when we look at the matter in context. While we should each pursue endeavors in life that we enjoy, we should NOT do it at the expense of others. Although, if you’re fine living in your parent’s basement, or stealing money from others, then I guess that is your prerogative, but you won’t receive my esteem.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society