Workism is based on the idea that if people are going to spend the rest of their lives working anyway, they might as well enjoy their time doing it.
Ideally, a person will typically spend 1/3rd of their lives sleeping, 1/3rd of their lives working and 1/3rd of their lives doing various other activities such as raising a family or pursuing recreational activities. And while countless books have been written on enjoying a good night's sleep, finding joy in family life, forging satisfying friendships and getting the most out of your free time, relatively little attention has been given to the 1/3rd of your life (and 1/2 of your waking life) that you spend on the clock.
To an extent, we can all learn or do things that will make our jobs more enjoyable. Given the nature of the universe we live in, nearly all living things have to work, and since this fact cannot be changed, the individual might as well strive to like what they do, and do what they like.
The Principles of Workism Edit
1. People should be happy.
2. Happiness comes from learning to work correctly.
3. Working correctly entails a sincere attempt to love what one does, and do what one loves. 4. An action is ethical if it leads to a greater enjoyment of work, and unethical if it results in making work less enjoyable.
We must never forget that work is only a means to an end, and that end is happiness. If one must choose between working correctly and being happy, then one ought to choose being happy. Put differently, one should never let a job to be done become more important than a person to be cared for.
Religious Figures in Workism Edit
The ideal worker is a person who loves what they do, and does what they love. They aren't typically expected to be in a state of never-ending pleasure or bliss, but they enjoy their work most of the time and find deep satisfaction in it.
The employer is anyone who provides work for others. The Employer has a sacred obligation to pursue the happiness of their workers and themselves.
The Working Stiff
The Working Stiff is anyone who does not enjoy what they do. Workism teaches that these people ought to be aided in eithering find a better job, or enjoy the job they currently have more.
The key enemy in Workism is a symbolic figure known as The Man. It is not a specific person or even necessarily a male, but it is anyone who wilfully attempts to make work less enjoyable. Workism holds that workers are morally obligated to fight The Man insofar as (s)he attempts to make work less enjoyable. This is always done through legal means (as opposed to illegal means) because legal actions nearly always have a greater and more permanent impact on the enjoyment of ones' work than illegal ones. For example, if an individual tries to stick it to the man illegally, that individual will likely go to prison where their work situation will be much less enjoyable.
Rites of Passage Edit
Graduation In many societies, children spend the first several years of their lives going to school. Here they have teachers who try hard to mentally stimulate, challenge, and even entertain them. At this point, people are consumers. If their environment is too hot or too cold or too boring or too whatever, they can complain about it and an adult will probably do something about it (after all, it's their job).
Then graduation happens. It may be the graduation from Middle School, High School or College, but it's the graduation that hurls them from the supportive environment of the school system into the dog-eat-dog rat race of the real world. Here - perhaps for the first time in their lives - they'll be asked to give back to the society that has been serving them for so long.
From the perspective of many adults, this is just as it should be: the children automatically get about 12 free years of education from the State (funded by the taxpayers, of course), and then they have to join the workforce help the rest of us pay to educate the next generation. The cycle goes on, the circle is complete, the economy is balanced, they kids finally got what was coming to them, and so forth.
From the perspective of the kids themselves, though, life looks a little different. They grow up in an atmosphere where adults wait on them hand-and-foot. In the earlier years the teachers are there to dry their tears, bandage their scraped knees and help them make friends. In the later years, students receive training from half a dozen teachers or more - and if the student ever falls behind there are mentors, guidance counselors, and even entire remedial education programs to get them back on track. From K through 12 the child is the star: teachers, principles, administrators, counselors and custodians spend their entire lives in service to the all-important students.
Then something terrible happens. After a brief graduation ceremony, the children are ejected out of the school system with the door shut firmly behind them. Once outside the caring, nurturing environment of school the students find themselves in a world where people don't care if they're hungry or tired or bored or stressed: they just expect you to work every day of your life until you are dead.
Of all the rites in Workism, graduation is probably the most cruel and traumatic. Students understandably feel cheated when the world stops serving them and starts demanding their unquestioning obedience, service and labor.
But it doesn't have to be that way. As adults, we naturally derive a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the younger generation flounder out of school and into the working world, making all the same mistakes we did and suffering all the same setbacks. But this thinking is flawed for two reasons: 1) Not everyone makes the transition from school to work - some join gangs, become criminals, and spend their lives in prison. 2) Usually, when you're deriving satisfaction from the pain of others, it means you're doing something wrong.
As people who have successfully coped with the fiery ritual of graduation and found our way in a hostile world, maybe we can do a little more to inform and forewarn the rising generation of the speeding locomotive of real life that will inevitably run them over after graduation.
Retirement This outdated, anachronistic ritual of yesteryear is quickly being phased out of most 'developed' nations. As fertility levels decline, fewer and fewer workers are left to support the increasing army of the elderly that pass into retirement each year. Some nations are rapidly approaching the point where each worker must support two or more 'retired' individuals. This imbalanced system cannot last for long, and so, like the 8-hour workday or the 5-day workweek, we must soon bid it farewell, and learn to live without it.
It is believed that the ritual of retirement was originally intended to support elderly people who could not work, but once the retirement age was set at an artificially low level, the entire system was thrown of balance, and has yet to fully recover. Others believe the ritual was intended to reward the elderly for a lifetime of loyal service, but with people spending their first 20 years in school and their last 20 years in a rest-home, there really wasn't much time left to get any work done.
Key Concepts Embraced by Workism Edit
It is the goal of Workism to help workers spend as much of their lives as possible in the Zone. When one is in the zone, they enjoy what they do.
Flow is what a worker does when they are in the Zone. While the Zone is a place, a flow is an action.The basic definition of flow is:
The mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.
The Narrative of Workism Edit
Although Workism does not currently have scriptures, it does have a narrative an a cosmology (or in other words, a way to view the universe). This narrative is in three parts:
In the beginning there was no life. Only aimleslly drifting elements in a vast cosmos. Then, 3.7 billion years ago, a small collection of elements got up off its lazy butt and decided to get some work done. These organizms were called Ribozymes, and they went about creating copies of themselves. Over time, these hard-working life forms eventually developed into complex plants and animals.
So far, this philosopy is identical to macro evolution, but here's where it differs: the life forms who survived and reproduced were not the ones who were the most fit, but the ones who worked the hardest. As many of today's organisms demonstrate, being capable of survival is not enough: one must put in a great deal of effort to survive and reproduce.
From the time that humans first began to develop technology, they have constantly reduced the amount of time they needed to work in order to survive. If the past is precedent, technology will eventually reach the point where humans do not have to work at all. At this point, humans will live in a hedonistic paradise which may resemble a virtual reality system in which all needs and desires are instantly gratified. A few people will still continue to work on principle, but over the years, as they witness the bliss and comfort of those who do not work, their will to work will erode, and the number of hours they work in a day will approach zero. This is the beginning of the end for humankind. All development will cease because all human drives and desires will be satisfied without any effort on the part of the individual.
Eventually, all of the social and biological urges to reproduce will be completely satisfied by artificial means, and humans will cease engaging in behaviors that result in reproduction alltogether. Those who are willing to bear and raise the next generation will be constantly bombarded with invitations to engage in behaviors that are far more pleasurable and satisfying than child-rearing, and the number of children they have will gradually decrease until they have none at all. This will be the final end of humankind.
But nothing is inevitable. In that past, when other species have faced extinction, they have either learned to adapt or they have perished. When a meteor hit the earth several million years ago, the dinosaurs were unable to adapt and they died out. The survivors of this disaster were those who could cope with the dark, cold, toxic atmosphere of earth. They were the mammals, who had previously been nothing more than an odd genetic anomaly. Because of their ability to generate their own body heat, and their unique, obsessive method of scavenging for food, they survived to inherit the earth we know today.
Similarly, if a special strain of humans developed that found more pleasure, satisfaction and fulfillment in work than in any other activity, they would survive the apocalyptic scenarios mentioned in the previous section. They would not be tempted by liesurly, hedonistic activities because such activities would not be as pleasurable for them as work.
On an evolutionary time-scale, humans simply don't have the time to biologically adapt to this new way of living before the end comes. But humans have an ace up their sleves that other animals do not: the ability to create new and innovative societies and cultures. Wolves have packs, bees have hives and ants have colonies, but no animal is able to adapt the nature of its society at will. Humans, on the other hand, are able to adapt to new societies and cultures even within their own lifetimes.
Therefore, if humans are to survive at all, they must create a religious culture that prizes work above all else. One that is capable of resisting even the most pleasurable temptations that the present and future will offer them.
Dating a WorkaholicEdit
Dating a workaholic requires empathy and understanding due to the hectic nature of their lives. Discover what it takes to date a workaholic with tips from the author of a book on dating in this fre... Dating a workaholic requires empathy and understanding due to the hectic nature of their lives. Discover what it takes to date a workaholic with tips from the author of a book on dating in this free video on relationship advice.
Q: Aren't people who work all the time really stressed out and no fun?
A: One of the most common misconceptions of Workism is that it advocates a never-ending schedule of work. This is not true, as people who work all the time rarely enjoy their work and are therefore not following the twin principles of "loving what you do" and "doing what you love". Instead, we advocate the idea that life is enjoyed most when recreation is frequent enough to enjoy your time on the job, but rare enough so that your work life isn't impeded on.
Q: Telling people who are stuck in bad jobs to "look on the bright side" just allows their employers to exploit them, doesn't it?
A: If an employer is exploiting their employee, then the employer is denying their employee the right to enjoy their work, and the employee is obligated by the tenets of Workism to to resist that exploitation as much as possible.
Q: Aren't there more important things in life than work?
A: Workism does not teach that work is the most important thing in life; merely that work ought to be enjoyed. Since most people spend most of their waking hours working, they might as well follow a system that will make their life more livable.
Q: Is Workism a religion in the same sense that Christianity and Buddhism are religions?
A: The answer is both yes and no. Workism is a religion in the sense that it is a system of beliefs that promises happiness in exchange for obedience to a set of principles that require a degree of faith to accept. It is not a religion in the sense that it claims to be the best system for all people in all times and in all places.
Q: But if you don't think it's the best system, then why bother?
A: Because most people spend most of their waking time working. They might as well adhere to a system that makes life more pleasant. There are millions who enjoy what they do already, and in that sense there are millions of followers of Workism. But there are millions more who despise their every day work schedules, and they deserve better.
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