There’s a chronic myth that honour lies in devotion to a life of endless slavish work. Yes, it’s good to use your talents to contribute to society but when farty grey career politicians evangelise about “hard working people” its hard not to feel alienated by their patronising rhetoric. Their attitude snarls condescendingly at the human freelancer ideology because we’d rather spend our time pickling gherkins or staring at the clouds than flagellating ourselves in a perpetual avaricious crap vortex.
The corollary of hard work people is that those of us who prefer to work less are lazy or work-shy and don’t contribute to society. And it lumps us in with other marginalised sections of society (who bear a disproportionate burden).
Yet the truth is that honest and happy freelancers have made a virtuous choice that sets us apart from privileged establishment figures (politicians or other wealthy elite) and so-called scroungers on the state. We work less because we choose to earn less. And we can do that because we’ve hopped off the shit-smeared treadmill of greed, debt and fear.
This idea isn’t a new one. Machines, computers and other technological developments used to be called ‘labour-saving devices’ because they’d free up our time so we could get on with the important business of toss-munching. And they did, except that that free time got scoffed up by yet more work, and technology whored itself out as the shiny objects we now slavishly covet (and the futuristic little bullshitters still have the cheek to promise us they save time).
I don’t want hard work if I can avoid it. I’d rather work just enough to earn just enough. Surely no other sensible person aspires to be hard working? There’s no dignity or honour in martyrdom to make someone else richer and your own life shitter in the process.
So let’s do away with this puritanical Victorian work ethic and aspire to emancipate ourselves from hard work. Taking control of your own destiny is where honour really lies.
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