"We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun." Stephen Fry in a recent interview with the Radio Times
"Your Life = Your Job.
Do you ever get the feeling that the above is what contemporary life boils down to? The statement is somewhat of an exaggeration, but if you're a member of a modern, western industrial society, there's also a great deal of truth to it.
While children, we are sent to school whose primary purpose is to prepare us for the "adult world" - read: having a job and, at first, being able to get a job. Then, we become adults; and we spend the bulk of our waking hours in our jobs. What we 'do for a living' is our major handle or self-identity in life. One is a plumber, or an attorney, or a car dealer. And then, we retire from our jobs. Now one becomes a retired plumber, or a retired attorney, or a retired car dealer. And that's about it. That's a thumbnail sketch of life as we know it here in late twentieth century western civilisation.
In a large sense, life = job.
Are we serious? Do we really want to equate that precious commodity known as one's life with an all-consuming vocational activity which may be only mildly interesting and whose most important feature is that it is attached to a paycheck? How have we gotten to the point where 'making a living' so saturates our lives that we have somehow forgotten about simply living?
These are the questions with which we urgently need to deal at the close of the twentieth century. 'Life' in our culture has become almost equivalent to 'job'. The unfortunate thing is that 'job' is too often lacking in personal fulfilment and too often over-taxing on the environment. Now that we've tried the 'jobbing' world as we know it for the best part of a couple of centuries, and we see the results it has produced, I propose we try 'un-jobbing'."
So opens Michael Fogler's book "Un-Jobbing: The Adult Liberation Handbook"
For more on un-jobbing and how to live a simpler life, I recommend his book.