My brain works pretty well but along simple lines. I’m not aiming in this article to say anything profound or to make a logical argument of the philosophical kind. However, I’ve noticed some things in my limited life experience that I think are important and generalisable to other people.
Modern living is a very long way from the real world
When human life is boiled down to the core elements – like it was for Robinson Crusoe – we need water, food and shelter or we will die. The extremely complicated world around us can blind us to the fact that, separated from all of our modern conveniences, we will die if we can’t eat, drink and protect ourselves from the elements. We may live in a welfare state, we may have people around us who would hate to see us perish, and we may not like sweat and blisters, but that doesn’t change reality. Even if we have a good chance of never having to truly fend for ourselves at any point in our entire lives, I think we should be mindful of just how basic and demanding our simplest needs really are. If there were no supermarkets, how would you get on? If you had to find and draw water, how and where would you do it? What if there were no cars and no internet and no fast food outlets? It wasn’t very long ago that our ancestors experienced life without these conveniences, and they achieved amazing things. How do we compare, really, sitting in front of computer screens or steering wheels all day? Trust me, when you increase your ability to function away from modern fanciness and frills, you feel better for it.
Doing hard work brings benefits
You get stronger and fitter, if it’s physical work (sorry, fellow knowledge workers, but contrary to the current pay pyramid that has paper shuffling on top, I think physical work is better for the worker). You build persistence and self-confidence. You make money or improve an asset or help someone out. You avoid paying someone else. You build relationships if you’re working with others. You make it easier for significant others to feel good about you. And you get better at doing hard work.
Working hard helps you on the path to becoming a Voluntary Worker
You spend less, earn more, save more and – importantly – learn the value of a dollar. (I think that hard work does tend to help you to notice what’s fluff and what’s a waste of money, though there are plenty of physical workers who waste all of their spare income.) All of this adds up to rapid growth in assets and thus a quicker journey to having your investment income cover your living expenses, making your job something you choose to do and therefore something much more palatable.
Even forced work is good
Yes, it is, although Voluntary Work is better. Forced Work is still work, and thus preferable to not working at all. Remember, you’d die in the real world if you didn’t get off the couch, and if you don’t work you miss out on all of the benefits of work outlined above. That’s quite aside from moral objections that can be raised against not working to support yourself when you are able to do so.
Working feels good
It feels great to relax at the end of a long day spent working. Food and drink taste better, sleep comes quickly and easily, and it’s extremely satisfying to look at what you’ve achieved. Consumption, whether it be eating at a restaurant or acquiring the latest gadget or going to the movies, just cannot give that deep sense of satisfaction.