The Professor Poses a Problem
OK, The Professor asked for 100 words, to convince a person who works 80hrs a week, that they don’t need to work 80hrs a week to earn an honest living. These premises contain more flaw than function, but I accept the challenge.
Flaw #1 People who work that much, and don’t notice, or somehow ignore the toll it takes on their own bodies, have cultivated an insensitivity that is almost impenetrable. Many are followers of apocalyptic religions (like Christianity). They expect life to suck, look forward to the end of the world, and believe they will be rewarded in the afterlife. These people attend services every week, read books, sing songs, recite sayings and mutter to themselves every day, just to reaffirm these beliefs, but I’m supposed to convince them in 100 words or less.
Flaw #2 Honesty. Can we call people in denial, honest? …or self-deluded people, innocent? Honesty is a survival strategy honored for its effectiveness, but survival is the real game. Words like “honest living”, “middle-class living”, or “comfortable living” have to do with expectations. Unfortunately, too many people foster unrealistic expectations.
Flaw #3 Language is a slight of hand trick. While its incredibly easy to hide an elephant with just a few words, its very difficult to describe an elephant in just a few words, especially if you cannot assume any knowledge of the animal kingdom. I daresay that in 100 words you could scarcely describe an elephant from even one perspective, and you’d surely leave out some important information. An elephant looks very different viewed from the front, than it does from the side, and it looks very different still when viewed from behind. So, I offer two 100 words descriptions of the elephant in the room:
Time to Get Off the Bus
We’ve blown it. We’re financially, economically, ecologically, politically, and philosophically bankrupt as a culture. It can’t be fixed. Take the day off. Don’t set the alarm.
Don’t watch TV. Don’t talk to friends or neighbors because they are in denial. You need time to think. Do the math. If we save the environment, the economy collapses. If we save the economy the environment collapses. Either way we get global meteorological, ecological, socioeconomic and political instability. In other words, this is your last chance to get off the bus before we hit a brick wall.
If you found out today that you only had a year to live, would you go to work tomorrow? Capitalism, the environment, society and our culture, have all gotten the diagnosis. While you may survive, none of the institutions you rely on will be there for you. Instead, you will work increasingly hard to nurse them along, and you will get less of what you expect from them until they collapse completely.
Unless, you abandon them, they will suck you dry, and drag you down. Do you want to be just another sacrifice to a terminally sick culture?
How’s that, Professor?