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Does Idleness Make Us Unhappy? - Society
Does Idleness Make Us Unhappy? - Society

Video: Does Idleness Make Us Unhappy? - Society

Video: Does Idleness Make Us Unhappy? - Society
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"Where there is work, there is happiness", "The sun paints the earth, and work for a man", "Not the one who is good-looking, but the one who is good for the job", "Man is great by work", "Labor feeds, laziness spoils "- this is only a small part of the folk proverbs about labor. Labor is also an absolute value in all world religions. And idleness and laziness are considered "the mother of all vices."

It would seem, what else is there to comment on ?! For centuries, the principle has been formed in world culture: there is white (labor) and there is black (idleness). To work is right, good, it is a prerequisite for a happy and prosperous life. Idleness is bad, a vice, the cause of numerous problems and misfortunes. But in fact, not everything is so simple.

What's in paradise?

Take, for example, popular beliefs about paradise. Cultural historians cite numerous texts about the beautiful paradise lands filled with all kinds of inexhaustible benefits. There are rivers of milk flowing with jelly banks and… surprisingly, nobody works! Everyone gets everything just like that!

Modern futurists predict total automation in the next 100-200 years. This means that more than 90% of jobs will be occupied by robots. At the same time, the general level of well-being will be so high that people left without work can simply live for their pleasure. If you believe the same futurists, then in the future there will be generations of people who can not get any profession at all and not work a single day. The state will provide them, and robots will perform household work. And people use their time for entertainment, travel, hobbies, self-development, personal life, etc.

Freebie in the stone age

It is obvious that the "dream of an eternal freebie", when "who does not work, he eats" is also one of the basic values in human culture. At the dawn of the science of anthropology, there was a point of view that primitive people waged an extremely intense struggle with wild nature; that for the sake of providing basic benefits (food, shelter), they were forced to work 20 hours a day. But over time, this point of view was refuted.

The “working day” of the gathering tribes was only 5-6 hours a day. Tribes-hunters could hunt for a day or two, after which (if the hunt was successful) a rest of 5-7 days could follow. Of course, extreme times could have happened in the life of primitive tribes, when they had to work hard to survive, but there was plenty of idleness in their lives.

With primitive tribes, everything is clear: they lived in those days when there was a lot of free space and resources, and people were few. If life in some territory became too difficult (instead of 5 hours they had to work 7-8), then people simply went to where there were enough resources for a comfortable life and feasible work.

Modern lack of freedom

But today everything has changed: from natural labor has become an economic and social phenomenon. Therefore, we work not where "it is easy and a lot", but where we can (because there is a professional division of labor), where we are paid (because it is no longer a subsistence economy, but the exchange of goods and services for money), where there is more less suitable working conditions. It turns out that in comparison with primitive people, we are less free - the economic system makes labor an indispensable condition for survival in modern society. Most simply do not have a choice, because those who do not work do not eat, do not receive treatment, do not pay rent.

And if this opportunity suddenly appeared - not to work ?! Something like when a billionaire second-cousin died in a distant country and bequeathed everything to you? Would you quit your job? Would your life turn into absolute idleness (entertainment, hobbies, travel, etc.) or would you find yourself a new job? Or would you start some great project that could make hundreds or even millions of people happy?

The answer to the question in the title of the article is not unambiguous. Because work and idleness are equally values, and can equally make a person happy or unhappy. What value will be chosen depends on the scale of a particular person, on her life values and aspirations, and on many factors. Sometimes even just from the actual state.

If you work three jobs and haven't seen vacation for several years, of course you will choose idleness. It will really make you happy for a while. But there is no guarantee that after a quality rest, you suddenly realize that happiness is in work, and you will not want to return to your favorite work again. Therefore, a philosophical conclusion suggests itself: learn to appreciate what is in your life now.