The busy greeting:
How's it going?
Staying busy, you?
Same, trying to stay busy. Lots going on at work lately.
I overhead this interaction the other day at a friend's place. It struck me. These two mega interesting people are staying busy. With what though? I asked myself. What's the vision? Are you swimming somewhere? Or flailing to tread water? Why are you so damn busy? Societally busyness is a badge of honor. Why?
In reflection on the times I've been busiest in my life, I've come to realize I was not only busy, but distracted. The distraction was subconsciously intentional. I strived to be constantly doing. Constant business distracted me from reality. I didn't allow myself time to think deeply, for thinking deeply would wake me from my artificial pursuits.
Our culture encourages a busy state for a reason. Granted the mental space to think deeply, we become aware of the superficial madness that is modern working life.
Wake up early by digital alarm, snooze, need more sleep, rise, shower and get pretty, make coffee (gotta stay overclocked), eat something made near exclusively of sugar, get in a 5 person car solo, commute to work at the exact time as everyone else, weave traffic to save a few minutes. All of this lunacy before the work day begins.
8+ hours of indentured servitude ensue. The lucky ones contribute in some way to the world, but many others serve as a cog in the consumerist machine. Little thought is given to the consequence of our action, just doing our jobs. We must remain busy, locked in, for with time to think we may ask why.
Why do we enslave ourselves then? Often our enslavement is the result of insecurity. We pursue perceived opulence because everyone is doing it. We gotta keep up. The neighbor traded 30 years of their life to live in their shittily built monstrosity, I should do the same to prove myself. I'm as smart, work just as hard, I deserve the same square footage they have, my spouse deserves it. After all, the house is affordable, in this area it should be selling for a quarter million and we can get it for 200k in this market.
Let's do some quick math. The house in question costs $200k. At $20 an hour we need to work 10,000 hours to pay it off. At 8 hours a day that's 1,250 days to pay off the house. One thousand, two hundred, and fifty days. That's a long ass time. This is excluding interest, property taxes, and the other complexities that come with the wooden palace.
Then we tack on college debt, a couple cars, some toys and find ourselves in purgatory. Repeating the same mindless work day after day to pay off our stuff. We haven't the mind left at this point to consider what we're contributing to at our job. We just gotta do it to outrun our debts. For if we take a moment to think, the cosmic joke may present itself, disrupting us from our mechanical patterns of sustainment.
We have been conditioned to slave away in the hive. This hive building mentality was arguably necessary to get us to the culture of massive abundance we live in today. We've arrived in a culture where our every need is accommodated. We have the opportunity to leave the hive now. There's plenty of honey and many fundamental processes can be automated, supplanting the work of drones.
I encourage you to leave the hive. We have all of the worlds information in our pocket, let's put it to use. Technology is in a place where we can provide for ourselves. We can harvest electricity, grow our food, prevent illnesses, fix things, be fucking awesome as individuals. The more awesome individuals we have figuring this whole thing out, the more abundant solutions will become. Let's rise up, help one another find the space to think. Encourage others to ask why. Let's collectively wake from our intentional slumber, stop lying to ourselves, laugh with the cosmos and pursue awesomeness together.