I have been feeling completely useless on both personal and professional level these days. Granted I am having progress on my thesis, but I have also been struggling to find a part-time job — one that not only could support myself financially while I am pursuing my Ph.D., but also at the same time would be able to give me some variety and/or upgrade to the current skills that I already have. It also doesn’t help that as I am currently taking care of an elderly parent, so my options are confined to remote jobs — which are still fairly limited. By my logic, I am not making much money now, hence I am not contributing anything to society and my family.
I am also struggling with the notion of rest and not doing anything. Even on a day off, I’d schedule the whole day with reading and writing, practically consuming and creating something at least.
I am perhaps, the embodiment of this comic:
I found out today that there is actually a term for this. It’s called internalised capitalism.
A natural hoarder, I found these paragraph written between the pages on my Moleskine. They are the words of inventor and futurist, Buckminster Fuller about having to decouple the idea of employment as a means to survive and be worthy:
We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognising this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.
Honestly, I do not want to sound like I am complaining. I acknowledge that I have the privilege to take a few years off full-time work to pursue higher education. There are people out there who still have to toil endlessly at work, some at a young age, with very little access and opportunity to education. Some of them have to work within precarious work situations without the support of labour rights and unions, and could not afford to take time off — this, all had to be done in order to survive.
Now, I think that is the real problem that we need to do something about.