An internal monologue : If monologue is one person talking, would it matter if its internal or external? -That’s a discussion for another day.
We all value work so much in our society. When asked, people might say Work gives respect, money, value and sense of self-worth. But I would say the greatest gift of work is that it helps maintain our sanity. That doesn’t mean those who choose not to work are insane, just that I believe work keep us sane. Imagine a life, where one is not doing work in her entire life. Wouldn’t that person go mad?
Thinking People’s greatest enemy is their mind. When they say, “Mind is an obedient servant but a terrible master” I ask really? Can mind be a servant in the first place? It keeps taking one to distant places in a matter of seconds. We humans, with help of our minds, are constantly Time Traveling. We move from past to present to future at mind-numbing speed. Sorry for a little detour. When a person is working, at least for that brief period the mind stays focused on the job at hand. When the job is complete and the person gets a free time, the mind starts its time travel again and makes the person go crazy in no time.
If a person doesn’t even have the brief period of respite, wouldn’t that person lose her sanity? Albert Camus said, “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that’s suicide. Judging whether life is or not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy”. If a person has all the time in the world and is capable of thinking, pondering about this very question would make her take her life. Think about it. We all have a destination, a ticket to which is handed to us right at the time of our birth. Did we ask for the journey? No, we were forced out of no where (not really nowhere) by fortune/luck/nature/god, whatever you want to call, and asked to take this journey up. How our journey will be we never know, but what the destination is we do know. To think that our life is so worth living is one of the greatest illusions that we indulge ourselves in, when our destination is nothing but a huge void, for all we know. If you think there is after life – Bon Voyage to you! Yet, we pretend that our journey is important. None of us will ever matter in the larger scheme of things. Even a cockroach can survive a nuclear meltdown, but us humans wouldn’t even survive a scorching heatwave.
You might be wondering, “Didn’t this article start with a question about work and now discussing about our destination”?. Don’t fret, your answer is coming. When our entire life is not meaningful in the larger scheme of things, to think our work is somehow meaningful is laughable. We work because society asks us to. Again, You might ask, “hey, didn’t the article mention previously that without work, one might go insane and now it says that we work because society asks us to, as if, we would all be doing nothing, if society doesn’t asks us to ”. Yours is a valid question. Though this might seem contradictory, it’s not. One must work to keep her sanity, but the work she does, should be an end in itself. When asked “why you work”? one must should be able to say I work because I want to. But living in an economic system, where everything is priced and valued, makes this way of working simply for work sake is next to impossible.
So to conclude, if we were to modify the Camus’ quote to, “Is work worth doing”? I would say no. Yet, we work because we are forced by the system we are in. So do your work, get paid and continue your journey towards destination. If you’re the kind of person, who thinks work is not just worth doing but it is something that gives meaning to your life – Good for you. But do note that all your life’s work would be made meaningless before you know it. And most importantly don’t judge others who don’t find their life’s meaning through work, as both of you would be at the same destination.