Friday, May 28, 2021

Unpopular Opinion: "Currency"

I've never cared much about money beyond it being a tool that I need in order to function in society. No need in hoarding it when there are people in need and you sure can't take it with you when you die, which we all will.

The perceived status conferred by owning the latest car or the must-have handbag is lost on me. I'm a proponent of doing something that you enjoy and finding a way to make it make money for you. This is how I advise anyone who asks me and it's how I live my life. I've been told that I'm crazy for thinking this way since I was a teen, so if you think I'm crazy, get in line. If I stumble upon a pile of money, I'll welcome it (and end up giving most of it away), but I'm not willing to sell 60+ hours of my life each week to a job that I dread just so I can buy a bunch of stuff to impress other people. So not my jam. I'm motivated by keeping life interesting for myself. "Can I make a living as an actress?" Yes, I can and I have. "Can I write and produce a series?" Yes, I can and I have. "Can I learn to paint?" Yes, I can and I have. That sort of thing is exciting to me: challenging myself to grow.

It's from this vantage point that I look at the current trend of people opting to not return to their underpaying jobs in lieu of receiving unemployment, and I say "Good on 'em."

My mom and I have a (mild) disagreement at times. She will say "It's good to have a job." I'll say "It's good to have what you need - job or no job." Being hoodwinked into believing that there is something inherently honorable about working yourself to death at some random job is one of the biggest coups that our society has ever pulled. There is some work that is "sacred work" and that usually involves helping people to be better. Selling widgets (or burgers, or whatever) from "cain't see to cain't see*" so that the wealthiest of wealthy people can hoard their treasure troves and enjoy leisure time not afforded to most is a HUSTLE. And some hustles need to be knocked.

So yeah, if you make more money on unemployment than you do at your pre-pandemic job, keep getting unemployment while you hatch an escape plan. And if coordinating with others to buy GameStop stock or cryptocurrency allows you to leverage the power of numbers against the status quo, do that too. The game is rigged and capitalism is a race to the bottom because it fosters the illusion of scarcity in a way that encourages people to do ANYTHING for money. Then we wonder why the whole place is in shambles.

Our time here is finite: find YOUR way to expend your time and energy it in a way that works for you. If you're selling your life, make sure you exact the most comparable return possible.


*from the dark of morning 'til the dark of night

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