Part 1: The Work Virus
I want you to imagine a world where the concept of “work” does not even need to exist.
…Where what is considered healthy is to naturally flow, fuelled by the desire, excitement and impulsiveness of creativity; where it is regarded smart, logical and efficient to succumb to and trust in the rhythm of life, as instructed by our very bodies’ expression; and ultimately, where quality of life is measured by how much individuals are thriving by following their inner guidance and thus being themselves.
You see, individuality is the treasure cove that harbours each human’s gifts. And the sum of our individualities forms our collective highest potential.
The world can collectively be only as happy as each person is being true to themselves.
If we do not value, honour, nurture and support the integrity and uniqueness of self above everything else, we are bound to unconsciously sentence ourselves to environments that feel wrong somehow. And while we may not be able to exactly pinpoint why our worlds don’t seem to be the utopias generations upon generations have fought (worked) so hard for, something about them just feels off.
Effort, seriousness, sturdiness, predictability, persevering, stamina, and mass results have been at the root of our old guiding principles. Yet these concepts have not, cannot and will not get us to a better, fairer, or more evolved reality.
We may have been able to rely on them until now for a certain kind of order, a guarantee of specific practical results, yet those advantages cannot substitute the true, multi-faceted brilliance of our freed expressions.
We’ve only been following these old paradigms on the seemingly logical assumption that moulding ourselves accordingly will somehow serve the good of the whole and/or that we need to do so for our survival.
Yet it is this wrong assumption that breeds and sanctions the unconscious dehumanisation, distortion and sense of futility that modern society suffers from.
We fight against ourselves and expect victory. We reach for “happiness” by destroying happiness.
And as for the argument that we must follow these principles for our survival, for one, we grossly underestimate the value of communal/tribal living, assigning to it traits that are pitifully projected by a self-proclaimed “superior and more civilised, first” world.
Additionally, we forget that the poverty, disease and struggle of many areas of the world are a direct result of imposed wars and imported religious belief.
Where indigenous people are left alone, they do thrive; perhaps not in the way modern cultures are familiar with recognising, but in their own distinct fashion they do.
While dogma may not seem directly relevant to our world’s success, underneath human suffering, there is bound to be a belief system that in some way or another praises and exalts exactly that: suffering.
This may sound harsh, but I’m in no way implying that any being deserves suffering, nor that they are consciously bringing these results to themselves. I only aim to point out the cause at the root of this issue, so that we may untangle it and heal its damage.
I am also not advocating abandoning all the great creations of our technological innovations and scientific discoveries. I am only suggesting that we apply that same knowledge on a more advanced system of values; ones that actually foster happiness.
We sadly accept the misguided idea that in order to survive we need to follow this enforced giving of our energy (work), which is only an inherited, oppressive and destructive value system.
Combined with this, we also get conditioned to find it intelligent and evolved to distrust and separate ourselves from others, as if it was weak, shameful and the ultimate failure to rely on others, thus creating an antagonistic setpoint for ourselves.
We are the source of the problem we think we are trying to solve.
Survival, and indeed happiness, are only possible through (and blissfully enhanced by) interdependence.
In order to properly evaluate the state our world is in -and thus be able to effectively affect it- we must first reassess the tools through which we observe it.
Indeed it is the tools we’ve been using to make sense of the world and to interpret what we’re perceiving that are primarily what disables us from improving on the way we progress. These tools have been external, numerical, and generalistic. In other words, they account for quantifiable basic human needs that don’t necessarily include the subtler, invisible, inner needs that comprise, let’s say, the “souls” of its people. But why should we include “souls” in such an equation? Because we’re looking to create a world that doesn’t just “look” right, but truly is right.
The best lens to look through, if we want to direct ourselves towards a higher, next-level quality world, must be emotion itself.
So, emotion is indeed the most valid and objective tool to measure the world, because emotion cannot be denied or proven by anyone other than the self. And since happiness cannot be forged, emotions must then become the single point of reference when it comes to evaluating where we’re at.
The world’s success cannot possibly be defined differently than its happiness.
Do you see how in all of our old concepts around work, there exists an inherent violence against the self? That we are operating from a set-point that is misdirecting and even offensive to the human spirit?
Underneath all of our values around “work”, there is a basic false belief about human nature itself: That it is not naturally inclined towards love.
And what do we think we need the concept of “work” for, if not to ensure that other people provide something (and enough of it) to our whole?
Part 2: Realigning Our Direction
Thankfully, the belief that humans are not loving by nature could not be further from the truth.
In fact, humanity is so inclined towards love that it has been at the mercy of codependency for eons (joke!).
Codependency is in essence the sacrifices we make in the self, in order to achieve acceptance and safety with others. The beautiful, natural reality is that others matter to humans. In fact love is what matters to us the most. If it was not such an all-important motive, we wouldn’t be so susceptible to it. Yet, everything bad for ourselves that we do accept, we accept in the hope of love, whether that comes in the form of belonging, feeling valuable or receiving personal love.
“Work” is indeed a codependent concept (like all moral concepts are).
We do not need morality; our nature is even better than that.
So, if we took it for granted that people, by default, do desire to participate, to give of themselves, and in fact to gladly do so; and even more, that only in their freedom are they be able to produce their best, which would also not be measurable by time spent or amount produced, would we still feel like we ought to oblige people to “work”?
The problem isn’t in human nature supposedly not being loving, but ironically, in what we do to ourselves -and how we raise our children- operating from this false premise:
Believing that we need to mould, even punish our children into not being “selfish”, but towards being giving and performing “work”, we effectively withdraw our love from them.
Precisely because love is humanity’s most desired commodity -whether it can be directly sought after or indirectly pursued (ironically through competition, manipulation and hostility)- we unconsciously set a painful trap for our children.
To cope with this pain of love withdrawal, children will go either towards compliance (codependency) – which alters the authenticity of their individuality – and/or towards rebelliousness.
And when they show resistance, we then take it as supposed proof about their (and our) nature. We don’t take into account in this false conclusion is again, the importance and value of individuality.
When we go against a child’s selfhood and they resist, their rebellion is not proof of how “lazy” and “selfish” human nature is; it is only their innocent and correct communication that we’re steering them wrong.
Forcing children through “morality” to push themselves to produce is emotional and mental violence.
If we do not allow our children the time and space to develop properly towards their unique goals, we never get to the proof of the existence of their intrinsic creative/productive power.
But if we were to respect the appropriateness of each being’s individuality, we would be viewing them as something new, and as something essential, with fresh, unfiltered, and evolved information and inspiration about how to live. We would not assume that children need to be taught who to be.
Instead of trying to direct children, we should be directed by their inherent personal power that guides them towards individuality.
And what could be occurring during every being’s childhood is this unencumbered process of progression that would eventually extend to (and only at the right time) the integration of the individual’s unique talents and offerings within its society, never having been infected by any reason to destroy and depreciate their originality, never broken away from love for any artificial measurement of “worth”.
Joy, leisure, playfulness, pleasure, and rest are our best sources of energy.
And, what do you know, they just happen to enhance our health and wellbeing at the same time too!
Funnily enough, we have forgotten how to be. We also seem to have done so in the name of (economic) progress, taking this manufactured calculation to mean an actual advancement of civilisation, while the obvious manifestation of our realities simply does not prove happiness.
So what does a child need to be happy? (The same as what an adult needs.)
They need freedom, to progressively discover and express their individuality, held and supported by the constant assurement that they will be respected, welcome and cherished, as they continuously explore and unfold themselves into more refinement, definition, intricacy and mastery.
If a child doesn’t naturally produce energy towards a specific goal, then it must be a goal incompatible with who they are here to be.
The missing elements of global happiness must be hidden inside every single one of the inimitable expressions that each being holds within themselves.
So let us imagine…the emotionally satisfying, beautifully abundant, unpredictably exhilarating, and truly alive world we are meant to create, TOGETHER.