Location, community, or a job you love. There are 3 things to choose from after college. Live in a cool location? Be surrounded by people you know and love? Or go for a job that is something you are passionate about? That is the choice.
This deception of powerlessness is pervasive and consequential. It keeps people locked inside themselves. The rubber band of self-loathing pulls us back over and over again from taking the next right step toward our vision of life.
There is a healthy sort of self-loathing that keeps one from taking life too seriously. It maintains one’s humility. But it is ultimately less like loathing and more like honest assessment of our limitations. Loathing may start with this honesty.
We have been told from our infancy that we can do whatever we want. We have been surrounded by myths where the princess gets the prince, where things come together, where we find the dream job doing “what we have always wanted.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it? We should be able to do what we want and get paid for it. Or better yet, we “deserve” it. Do we? And why do we deserve it more than the citizen of Nepal who has to work as a farmer or else his family starves to death?
Doesn’t he deserve to be happy doing only what he wants? Or what he is designed to do? “Well, I can’t help his circumstances there. Only he can figure that out.” Maybe. Or maybe he is onto something that we all need to be reminded of.
There is no way around thinking about work as an obligation. From the beginning of time humans have had to do things they did not want to do in order to survive, sustain, and even prosper. Work was built into the very fabric of life.
Our ancient ancestors may have had the advantage of not analyzing every area of our existence as we do. They lived out of necessity. They did not have the luxury to ponder, at least to the degree we do. Certainly they ached existentially.
Still the men knew that if they did not hunt or gather the family would not eat. They knew there was something driving them toward things they may not have wanted to do, namely survival. And today we are ultimately in the same dilemma.
We work for one reason ultimately: survival. We work for money. The money buys food, clothes, and shelter. We call them necessities. If we don’t work, we don’t have them. We are driven to find ways to make money in order to survive.
That instinct is ultimately good. We should survive. Life is worth surviving for. Think about what the will to survive is actually saying. Life is good. Existence is good. The continuation of life is good. The will to survive is the foundation of hope.