The Wasted Third

third

I started thinking yesterday after work about our relationship with our working lives. I personally really enjoy my work – I’m a teacher – and gain great satisfaction and pleasure from my job. It really got me thinking. As I speculated, I sought the assistance of a thesaurus for language manipulation. If we consider the synonyms of work we find the words toil, labour, grind and drudgery. All of which paint a Dickensian portrait in charcoal and darkness on the innocent canvas of youth. We are almost trained to believe that work – like school to many youths – is the necessary evil for enjoyment. I’ve never been (nor do I ever care to be) a member of this rather bleak club. For many though it is, sadly, the norm that they exist within.

It struck me that, those who do not relish their employment waste – on average – a third of their fleeting moment on this conscious earth. We all – through necessity – sacrifice one third to sleep. A sacrifice that allows us to relish, learn, ponder and further the other two thirds of our existence. However, for those unfulfilled majority[1], they’re  happiness is reduced to a meagre 33%. They see work as a means to an end and not an enjoyment in itself.

I find this nothing short of tragic! We will sacrifice a half of our waking lives so that we may enjoy the latter half more. Is this a necessary evil? Should we discard our time so frivolously? What shall we gain when we face the unfaltering hand of death? We talk of the need to work less and the hollowness of the worthless papers we chase. And yet, we accept them as the necessary emolument to Charon. Should we not demand more, I ask?

 

[1] I don’t claim this a scientific hypothesis merely the experience I have gained from speaking to those around me over my lifetime.

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2 responses to “The Wasted Third

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