Last night, I had a really interesting talk with a friend of mine. He just experienced something he has NEVER experienced before and he’s dealing with the emotional rollercoaster that comes along with it. This friend is an all-around fun guy and he’s got great ideas about education, society and philosophy. He’s one of the best teachers I know. So it was a surprise to most of us when he broke the news: the corporate world decided to turn its back on him.
After a year or two of educating children in that establishment, he’s informed that they don’t want his services anymore. For the first time in his career, he has actually experienced complete and utter rejection.
Fortunately, he had a great sense of humor and he tries to look at the positive in negative events. He has decided to use this as an opportunity to celebrate his freedom from corporate slavery and to finally be able to truly do whatever he wants.
I know this isn’t a very easy thing to deal with. We have been taught since we were children that we have to go to school in order to become great at a certain occupation. We have been taught to believe that we should study in order for great employers, businesses and corporations to hire us. We have been taught to believe that becoming the model employee – the best at what you do and getting paid big to do it – is ideally the most responsible thing we could do for ourselves and for our families.
Essentially, we have been encouraged our whole lives to become employees.
That only means one thing: there will always be a boss.
And the thing about having a boss is…you are always told what to do.
There may be a slight semblance of freedom. After all, you get paid to do something because you’re good at it. But since you’re paid to do it, the person/institution paying you will always have an opinion on how or why you should be doing a certain type of work at a certain time. That’s why it’s so important to establish the tenet that you ought to love your work because, obviously, if you don’t love what you’re doing, work is gonna feel like torture. After all, who loves being told what to do?
I read somewhere that when people are on the brink of death, they don’t think about how they wish they worked in the office more. People think about how they wished they lived more – how they should have enjoyed their lives and lived it to the fullest while they still could.
What makes life beautiful is the frailty that goes along with our mortality. We know death will come. It’s not a matter of if but when because, like Haruki Murakami said on his book Norwegian Wood, death is not the opposite of life but is actually a part of it. Death is an inevitability. This is an established fact.
So the question is: how do you choose to live your life?
Personally, I’d like to think I’m living my life the way I’m supposed to. I know I ought to do more and I ought to explore more of the world but my plans definitely don’t involve having someone else tell me I ought to live my life a certain way. I know what kind of life I want to lead and, it may be unconventional, but it’s definitely the kind of life I imagine myself living and recounting in 10 or 20 or 40 years’ time.
I’d probably have to endure sucking up to the man for a while, just so I could get on my feet and save up for all the plans I have for myself.
I don’t intend to stay too long though. The world changes every day and I grow older every day. I think it’s about time to make sure I make the most of my life before I get too old to do anything about it.
To THE MAN, it sucks that you hamper intellectual growth and creativity because of the funny rules you impose on employees. These people could be the best at what they do and they could definitely inspire others because of their unconventionality, but you let go of them because they are too different.
That is how you break dreams, my friend.
But we made you that way, didn’t we? We could have changed the way you run things, but we allowed you to. Maybe, if more people realize that they shouldn’t give a crap about the shit you give them, more people could demand a change in how you run things (or if you continue to run things at all).
For the most part, I believe the people you let go, didn’t deserve you anyway.
Maybe we should all start breaking away from the employee mindset and start taking over to becoming the boss of our own lives.
The best way to live life is to really feel like you’re living it for the first and the last time.