ARE YOU A WAGE SLAVE?
So recently, I debated with some friends about work and what it implies in the 21 century. The discussion was centred around ‘wage slavery’ and I was to defend my position on why I think doing a 9-5 is arguably slavery.
So I tag slavery as any form of forced labour where people lack autonomy and are compensated poorly for the work they do. Clearly in the 21-century people cannot be physically forced into labour, however, everyone needs a job to survive. So if you do find yourself in a situation where you working for a living and you are not compensated well for your time and effort; you do not derive any form of fulfilment from your job, I considered that to be (economical) slavery.
Ideally, a job should make you feel fulfilled and well-compensated, however, you can opt for one of the two depending on your situation. My issue is that most 9-5ers do not have any of the above options, which is why I am against it. If you are in a job that doesn’t offer any form of fulfilment and you are going home monthly or weekly with a paycheque that cannot sustain your lifestyle, do you think that you are free?
Now, it would be unfair to sit here and criticise or shame people for doing what they have to do to survive. My contempt isn’t for the people who find themselves slaving away for a wage but for the institutions that keep people in this situation. I will also like to help people understand that they deserve better and advocate for entrepreneurial and creative endeavours that give people not only autonomy but better earning chances.
Until we collectively can understand what a job should entail we cannot demand better working conditions; we cannot demand respect in the workplace; we cannot demand better policies to protect the workforce. These institutions will continue to see their employees as dispensable objects at their whims and caprices.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Never be caught in a space doing what you do not love for money. I do not care how much it is. This is a conscious effort to destroy your soul. There is an argument that having money is the goal for many people and they are willing to do just about anything as long as it pays well. This is understandable, however, I do think that comes from a place of impoverishment. It was my reality at some point, but being in a space like hive has changed my viewpoint because I have learned what it means to thrive.
Many people in my sphere are trying to survive and they cannot imagine a world where they are not surviving, living from paycheque to paycheque. On the other hand, I have seen a lot of people move up in life doing what they love on hive to a point where they are financially free and can live the life they want.
For instance, I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts. I consider this to be a fundamental part of my being and I do it effortlessly without any form of struggle. I have been doing this for over a decade. Fortunately, it has been my major source of income for the past four years thanks to hive and I have been able to flourish in this place mainly because of my passion, even when the income wasn’t so great because this is something I enjoy doing.
This is a bit of a detour but It rubs me the wrong way when people tell me they cannot write. I find it difficult to empathise with people who cannot pen down their thoughts or even vocalise them. This is so fundamental to your existence as a person, and one of the reasons I do not consider writing as a talent (because everyone should know how to write).
Now, I do understand that writing is a herculean task for some people and they will have to struggle if they choose this path. So when I do invite people to hive, I try to make them understand that writing can be a temporary thing for you, to enable you to understand the hive ecosystem and find what works for you. Hive is a diverse ecosystem and there is room for everyone to explore their creativity.
Many individuals do not think they are creative or have a superficial view of creativity, which limits their potential and even when given the opportunity to explore their creativity they are unable to do anything tangible with it. This is why they settle for mundane jobs that drain their lives. They would rather hide under mundane routines than exert themselves in their work through creative thinking. Any job or task that requires some level of ingenuity is uncomfortable and difficult.
In conclusion, the only way to get the best out of life is to know your position. The fact that you are currently slaving for a wage doesn’t mean that it will be your reality forever but you need to acknowledge this phase in your life and create a plan to opt-out.
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