With coronavirus deaths continuing to rise around the world, the US death toll now at 160,000, and our free-fall economy, it can be difficult to see the positive things the Covid-19 crisis is trying to teach us. Here I share some that I see:
- This is a wake up call for all of humanity. People have been on a self-destructive path and we now have a chance to turn things around.
- We can change our belief that we are masters of the universe and that all other life must bow to our will or die. It would be like the brain taking over the body and imposing its will on our kidneys, lungs, and hearts.
- The closure of our industrial economy, even for a short time, has shown that we have the will to reverse the global climate crisis and save the world for future generations.
- Our divided government can actually come together to share our collective wealth with citizens who cannot work. As automation continues to increase unemployment, we can adjust our economy accordingly.
- By eliminating bullshit jobs, people can get back to work, which is important and helpful for the well-being of humanity and other living beings on planet earth.
David Graeber is Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics. In spring 2013 he asked a provocative question. “Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world?” His essay on the phenomenon of bullshit jobs went viral and his subsequent book Bullshit Jobs: A Theory continues to make waves.
He reminds us that “crises tend to reveal unconfirmed truths”. For example he says:
“In 2008, we learned that the majority of financial assistants whom we’d treated with awe for the past two decades were actually little more than scammers – and rather clumsy.”
He addresses our current crisis and tells us:
“The coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns teach us an even more startling lesson: a very large part of what we call ‘economy’ is little more than just another scam.”
Those who can do the most harm get the most reward, while those who do the most good are the least rewarded. ”
So what are “bullshit jobs”? According to Graeber
“Bullshit jobs are jobs that even the person doing the job can’t really justify to exist, but they have to pretend there is a reason for it. That’s the bullshit element. ”
Graeber contrasts bullshit jobs with shit jobs. He says of the latter:
“Bad jobs are bad because they are tough, or the conditions are terrible, or the pay is bad, but often these jobs are very useful. In our society, the more useful the work, the less you get paid. While bullshit jobs are often highly regarded and well paid, they are completely pointless and the people who do them know it. “
A review of the book on Amazon makes the point:
“This review was written at an employee’s desk in the office, where I get $ 65,000 a year to do virtually nothing important. That’s why I mostly sit in my chair and listen to podcasts and audio books all day. I keep doing this until enough executives and managers have disappeared above me so that I can feel comfortable. With my income from that, I then outsource all of my duties to a range of employees who work on the living wage of the 21st century – Uber drivers, grocery deliveries, meal sets, laundry. “
I’ve never had a bullshit job, but I’ve had a few shit jobs that I would like to forget. But the Times offer an opportunity to cut bullshit jobs and support work that really makes a difference in the world. In his book Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World, historian Rutger Bregman says: “In a survey of 12,000 professionals by the Harvard Business Review, half said their job had no ‘meaning or importance.’ “
Everyone wants a meaningful life and work that makes a difference in the world. What would happen if we rid people of bullshit jobs who make a lot of money but harm the person and our world? With the coronavirus forcing us to open and then close a lot of jobs, we have the opportunity to give up bullshit work in favor of jobs of real meaning. “In a world that is getting richer,” says Bregman, “there is more space for friends, family, community service, science, art, sports, and anything else that makes life worthwhile,” says Bregman. ”
Are you ready to join the real work revolution?
Let’s eliminate bullshit jobs in favor of jobs that are meaningful and helpful. It seems to me that one area of meaningful work that is badly needed these days is “human work”. Everywhere we look people fear increases. It most commonly manifests itself in irritability, anger, and depression. Men in particular seem to suffer, and their suffering affects the women and children in their lives.
In my books The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Treating the 4 Main Causes of Depression and Aggression and Mr. Mean: Saving Your Relationship from Irritable Male Syndrome, I offer a program to heal the wounds that cause so many men and their families break down and so many marriages fall apart.
The need to train people in “human work” has never been more important than it is now. I have decided to offer a certification and training program for 25 men and women who want and want to expand their work in the world Help more, earn more and have a career that can be part of the real labor revolution in the post-Covid-19 world. If you would like more information on this training, which is scheduled to start in September, send me a message at Jed@MenAlive.com (be sure and reply to my spam arrest filter the first time you email me ) and enter “People work” in the subject line. For more information about the training and to apply for an application, please come here.
If you’d like to speak to me directly, I’ll be happy to make a Zoom call or call you directly. Oh, and one last thing. These 25 will be the only men and women I will ever train, certify and coach. If this reaches you, please contact us now.
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