How to be a human being

I can’t shake the idea out of my head recently that we’re animals. Organic species who communicate and organize big events and place a lot of importance on certain things. An animal who doesn’t ‘make money’ is a failed animal. Making money and being successful is a thing animals of this species do.

Living for the simple pleasure of being alive is an idea long forgotten. It is reserved for other animals and recluses, hedonistic hippies and spiritual savages. Maybe monks and millionaires too. But the rest of us, we have to work. A life of work is a life well lived. Let’s see who’s the richest man in the graveyard.   

I’d like to live in nature, or be self-sustainable, but the odds of that happening were more or less determined from the moment of my birth. I don’t know how to hunt, fish, build a hut or make a fire; I know how to cite sources properly and use the quadratic formula. Maybe we live in a society that doesn’t want people who can tend for themselves. Maybe we’re educated in a way that ensures we know one thing. That is, how to make money in this world, to buy houses that are already built and pay mortgage for the next 20 years.

Now you can’t leave even if you want to, because you have to pay for something with money you don’t even have yet. So work until you’re 65 then move to Florida, those are the age and place where it’s acceptable to enjoy life.

Why the big fuss about being productive anyway? It’s become more important than our enjoyment of the work, which is ridiculous. Workaholics are rampant, they smell of a hopeless failure to grasp the biggest absurdity of life: that there’s nothing at the end. No big reward for all the hours spent making big bucks and chasing success. I don’t reject the idea of Karma, but I doubt there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If this sounds nihilistic it shouldn’t: I see it as a liberating mindset, an invitation to relax. Maybe sometimes, we dig to find the beauty we always knew existed but feared would be impossible to find.

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