You are not your job. I hope you find that comforting.
Modern society, however, might have other plans for you. It’s likely that you have been told to the working will be a necessary part of your adult life. To an extent, it’s true; that society functions as it is now because of people working.
Right now, you need to slow down if you aren’t doing that already. It is a radical thing to do in fast-paced world.
You can always create value for anyone you care for, even if it’s just a friend or a family. It doesn’t have to be just for humans, though. You can give back to the animals by being humane towards them whenever possible. You can take care of the environment by the choices you make, the things you do or don’t buy.
You may not realize it yet, but we have been conditioned to believe that everything needs to be a job to be performed so that The Boss rewards you money, which, by the way, is most likely based on an unfair calculation of your time’s worth.
If you’ve been paying attention to your social media feeds, people never stopped creating value in spite of the pandemic. Look at those who create face masks and shields, and give them for free or donate them to front liners. Look at the volunteers in feeding programs. Watch the artists who perform their art and music live, for free, to keep the spirits up. Listen to those who put up free webinars on how to “bounce back” from the “downtrend” that is our current economy.
How is it that there are those who have tied their identities, their self-worth to their employment? Perhaps they’re privileged enough to actually enjoy whatever it is they are (or are not!) doing, and good for them. A lot of us don’t have that luxury, though, like the laborers with physically intensive work, especially when their work don’t really enrich their lives in the long run no matter how many hours they put in. Only some capitalist who thinks he deserve a huge chunk of the benefit just because he invested a large sum of money in putting up the business.
With Metro Manila “downgrading” to General Community Quarantine, employers of the Capital are now more vocal in the way they summon their employees to go back to work. And I know because I’ve just received mine in a form of email.
Yes, unfortunately, I still work, too, a menial mental job that pushes paper from one invisible box to another. The least thing I did to put antiwork theory to praxis had been to not to open my work email the entire lockdown (mid March to May 2020), and that’s not enough!
Consider this: weren’t you summoned, too, in this world, to live a life of uncertainty? Under Capitalism, you’re forced to work, or else you’d starve or not afford basic needs like shelter and clothing. But if somehow, we could circumvent, if not totally subvert, all of that, and start doing things that we like doing, I wonder what would the quality of life be?
They will keep on glorifying the Filipino’s resilience while maintaining still the same oppressive systems that commit the social injustices in the first place.
People, in general, has always been productive. We would be more so if the effects of our work benefited all, not just the select few.
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