Saturday 26 May 2007

Work Less, Earn Less, Consume Less ...

‘It’s not a 9-5 job’ – Many so-called challenging jobs have this point in their profile. Of course, you’re paid hefty salaries, and naturally you are expected to put in long hours. Today, 18-hr days have become normal. Somebody I know asked her husband when he came home early one day, “What??? Have you lost your job???” Strange indeed are the ironies of human life! Why do you earn more, when you can’t enjoy it? But didn’t someone say,
"Enjoyment is relative?" Yes, but still …

I came across this article in Countercurrents.org – ‘Why working less is better for the globe’. It talks about the Americans’ dogged pursuit of fatter pay packets, how it indirectly chokes up our planet, and about a very small percentage of people raising their voice against this mad pursuit.

Excerpts from the article…
"We (Americans) now seem more determined than ever to work harder and produce more stuff, which creates a bizarre paradox: We are proudly breaking our backs to decrease the carrying capacity of the planet," says Conrad Schmidt, an internationally known social activist and founder of the Work Less Party, a Vancouver-based initiative aimed at moving to a 32-hour work week…

"As a society, we're working exponentially hard to decrease sustainability and it's making us miserable -- just look at how antidepressants are on the rise," he says. "In order to reduce our ecological footprint, we have to take working less very seriously."

Unsurprisingly, the United States is the world's largest polluter. Housing a mere 5 percent of the world's population, it accounts for 22 percent of its fossil fuel consumption, 50 percent of its solid waste, and, on average, each citizen consumes 53 times more goods than a person in China, according to the environmental nonprofit, Sierra Club.

"Materialism is driven by an underlying sense of insecurity,” says Kasser…“We don't know our neighbors and suffer from high divorce rates; our social safety nets have been dismantled; we have no mandatory overtime laws and minimal vacation. All these work to create an underlying sense of insecurity, and we need to break out of that cycle,” he says.

"If you want to protect the environment, you have to consume less, which means you have to produce less, and you have to work less. We have to keep the message positive -- our standard of living will improve hugely. I think people are starting to make the connection."

Read the full article here …
http://www.countercurrents.org/colwell210507.htm

Aren’t we also going the same route? Work more, earn more, consume more…

So much talk about work-life balance… Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to make our passion double up as job too. And, many of us have forgotten about our original passions.

In many cases, what the US has achieved in a span of 10-15 years, India has bridged the gap in a few years. Similarly, will we bridge this gap also fast? Oh sure, we are fast catching up. :-)

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