Work is important to every functioning society. There are different types of work that serve different purposes and fulfill different roles. With that said, certain people within a society will be more suited for some types of work than others. They will possess skills that others won’t have and vice versa. People are also built differently, in terms of height, weight, strength, and the limits of their endurance. For example, work that requires lifting or moving heavy objects is best performed by someone with a suitable physique for that type of work.
In today’s society, it’s common to hear people complain about their jobs. For some individuals, it’s about the type of work they do. Maybe they don’t like it or don’t think it pays enough. Those types of people are unlikely to be enthusiastic about showing up in the morning and giving it their all. Some of them may not like their boss. That’s also fairly common. Then again, you also have those who wouldn’t be happy regardless of what they were did for a living. Those are the folks who would rather sit back and gratify their senses than do anything productive.
Unfortunately, this seems to be a product of the modern age. Although we weren’t alive hundreds or thousands of years ago, it’s obvious by the accomplishments of certain great cultures that they took great pride in the things they built and put together. Great monuments from thousands of years ago still stand in countries around the world, so it’s fair to say that most people back then accepted work as a normal part of life, since the dawn of time. Those who were least happy about it, would most likely have been those who were enslaved by conquering armies and you certainly can’t blame them for their feelings about that.
So why are so many of today’s people unhappy about work? I would suggest that it’s probably a combination of numerous factors. One of the biggest seems to be technology. We’ve created these amazing machines to make our lives easier, which in itself is perfectly understandable. But the result of this is that people have come to expect more ease in their lives and if they’re not old enough to remember when things were more difficult, they’re going to have a hard time when those machines are not available. They assume that these machines, gadgets and gizmos have made much of our manual labor obsolete, which is actually not true.
Those who study history and understand this often used phrases such as “First World problems” to describe the perceived difficulties that have arisen from such an expectation of ease. Obviously, in the Third World, they still lack the latest technology in many places. They’re probably the closest to understanding the consequences of becoming too accustomed to a life of ease. Many of those people still have to hunt and kill their food, or at the very least, grow it.
That such difficulties were accepted as a normal part of life back then is remarkable, compared to the way it’s seen today. Those people accepted that they were going to have to put some real effort into putting food on the table. Basically, if you didn’t work, you wouldn’t eat. Lazy people were shunned by everyone and looked down upon by society. But nowadays, people think that lazy people with trendy sayings and musings are impressive in their sarcasm. Some actually look up to people like these for their daily doses of laziness and negativity on their social media pages.
Who out there hasn’t had their Facebook page assaulted by anti-Monday memes? It might sound like harmless fun, but I would argue that it does nothing to get the masses off to a positive start on a Monday morning. Instead, it gets them thinking about the more unpleasant aspects of what they do and how much more appealing a Friday afternoon supposedly is. Well after hearing all that over and over again, for years and years, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the more suggestible members of society would internalize this way of thinking, instead of taking the same kind of pride in their work that their ancestors would have taken.
Let’s not forget that technology can break down and even be taken down by enemies from other countries, through the use of high-tech weapons intended to send others back into the Stone Age. An EMP attack could set us back hundreds, or thousands, of years. That’s all it would take for our precious devices to be completely useless for sustaining our society. What would everyone do then? To be honest, it’s likely that today’s population would shrink very quickly as people starved or killed one another over resources. It’s unlikely that a population as large as those of many modern cities would be able to sustain itself with so many of its people thrown into chaos by the idea that they might suddenly have to fend for themselves, as was once considered normal.
See, this is why work ethic is so important to any society. If you think about the heroes you looked up to at different points in your life, it’s likely that you looked up to them for something involving the work they did. For example, boys may admire soldiers, cowboys, firefighters, actors, musicians, pilots, sailors, etc.… Thus, it should come as no surprise to realize that the things you once looked up to your heroes for probably had a lot to do with their work. Soldiers work very hard to keep their countries and people safe, as do firefighters and police officers. People like that don’t get to lay there and complain about how hard their job is. Even entertainers bust their butts for countless hours to rise to the top of their professions.
Even pirates had contractual agreements between a captain and his various crew members, regarding how the work would be distributed and how the shares of their loot were to be divided. If you didn’t pull your weight, you wouldn’t last long on a pirate ship. The same thing goes for major criminal organizations. If you’re not producing and sending money up through the organization, you’re considered dead weight and that’s not a good place to be in a group like that. So if you really think about it, no matter what you choose to do with your life, legitimate or otherwise, you’re going to have to do SOME kind of work, expose yourself to SOME kind of risk – or both!
If you think work is a big deal now, wait until you have to chase rodents to kill and eat them or fight the elements all day in the sun, so you can grow your own food for the first time in your life. Wait until you have to fight off mobs of looters or wild animals, as civilization slides backward. Suddenly, flipping burgers from 8 to 5 doesn’t sound as painful as it did a few moments ago. Maybe sitting in front of that computer in that air conditioned office isn’t so bad, after all. If anything, people should always endeavor to strengthen themselves, since you can never be sure what the future might bring. I don’t say this as much to scare anyone as I do to impress upon them the need to cultivate a sense of urgency about what happens when you get too comfortable.
See, it’s all about perspective. And personally, I believe proper perspective has been lost in modern society. This observation is part of the reason why I decided to start this website in the first place. When I think of past generations, and I’m a big history buff, I think of people that were strong enough to make things happen that would carry them into the future and ensure for their needs. People back then weren’t looking to be taken care of, but rather to contribute in a meaningful way, so as to help society advance toward a better future.
Everyone knew the importance of all those little jobs. The lowly cook in the army knew that if you didn’t feed those others soldiers, they would never beat the Nazis. Native American women knew that preparing food and weaving garments was just as important as the hunting and fighting that their men were doing in the field. Everyone understood that even the lowliest of tasks have meaning and purpose, which is probably why so few people today find meaning and purpose in their own lives. The result is a degradation of certain segments in society, which now seem to favor instant gratification. Personally, I believe that if we do not look for ways to promote the value of work to today’s youngsters, we could be in for a very rude awakening.