Why are we even doing any of this, anyway? Thoughts on working and self worth

on the way to work on a German ICE train

People wake up early every weekday morning and under normal circumstances they immediately think about family members or whether they slept well. Soon after achieving consciousness, often only after introducing caffeine into their system, the working person is naturally going to start thinking of the coming workday. Many people spend a tremendous amount of their waking hours focused on these work issues.

One of the advantages of a long commute for my dad was that he rarely brought his work home with him. If you do the vast majority of your work at home like I do, then your commute might be from the bed to the desk, or even the bed to the couch. How do you keep your work in its proper perspective when you work where you also do your recreation?

More importantly, is our whole relationship to work and a ‘normal’ working life a completely ridiculous construct? Might we be happier, no matter what form our employment takes, if we observe and analyse this construction? If something happens and I lose my position, for whatever reason, have I lost my self worth?

Please, don’t let any of these questions discourage you. Many people have a healthy and constructive relationship with what they do professionally. Our political leaders are aiming for full employment, so if you’ve simply got a job? Then you’re taking care of not only yourself but simultaneously fulfilling your civic duty.

However, if you happen to be dealing with issues of mortality, whether yours or that of someone you love, then you’re naturally going to start having existential questions. Why are we here? What’s the point of all of this anyway?


Hopefully, you didn’t come here looking for answers from me. I’m headed off to work as soon as I finish writing this. No rest for the wicked, as they say.

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