Feckless Workshy Layabout

This article was crossposted from my blog. It and other works I have written there can be read at ruuube.wordpress.com

I kind of want to get it tattooed on the back of my neck.

I’ll be blunt; it’s a trademark of pernicious capitalistic thinking when someone insinuates this to you, without them knowing it. I don’t think anyone truly is a feckless workshy layabout, because to be workshy, you’d have to be incredibly stupid, and if you’re not educated, then you’re living in a state of unwilling ignorance as to the benefits, joys, and general understanding of work. It is impossible to be workshy, ignoring the etymological roots of such a portmanteau.

Right, now that that’s out, can we investigate this further?

To attain anything requires work. It requires effort, which is part of work, and to move forwards, is to work towards moving forwards by applying effort. If we are to be even looser with the semantics of the word work, you cannot even open your eyes without work. So then, what is it that stops one procuring work, or working in greater capacities? I posit that it is the temporal alignment and focus of an individual. What I mean here is, the temporal nature of the work in all senses, as well as how well attuned an individuals ideas of work are toward the reality of one’s work.

It is easier to open your eyes than it is to build a pyramid because there is more to conceptualise, as such there is more to realise, and also because the work itself is a grander thing to complete in the sense of time. These create barriers unto the actual ‘doing’ of the thing, many men speak of how one should simply just shut out thinking at the point of agency, simply understand in at least one snapshot of time that work must be done, and do it in any capacity that is available to you. This is all fine and good if one simply seeks to work for the sake of working. I believe these are the same men who wonder as to why things always stay the same — or worse for them, do not wonder at all.

I have been a FWL for some time, for many reasons. I simply had a lot going on. Through it all I wrote essays, poetry, short stories. I created some art, moved house three times, conceptualised many pathways upon which to go forward, understood many new concepts, and grew as a person. However, because I was able to– and did not seek to ‘work’ in societies dull sense of the term, I have been called, many times, a feckless workshy layabout. Not directly said, but insinuated. ‘The reality of it is you just have to go and do it.’ At some points I allowed myself to be deluded in such ways, and scorned myself for not going and getting the money.

The difference between me and people who actually do do nothing, is that one of us is an unwitting victim. One of us has bought into the ‘seed truth’ that to be valuable (a trait of work), you must absolutely follow your impulse as soon as it arises, and procure work. It then proceeds to delineate exactly what work is, and what work isn’t, by scoffing at you when you make jewelry for a living. The result is you are either able to be accepting of this, and do as suddenly ‘obligated’ — or, your mind will find this fraudulent, but try to accept it anyway, because until you seek to understand the idea of ‘work’ for yourself, there will be no other understanding available to you.

This is why society places so much value on the idea of the ‘student’ because, it is not quite as black and white as I make it out to be. To some degree, everyone understands that this definition we have of work is illogical; they daydream outside the box for a moment and wonder what it would be like to live on a beach and blow glass for a time. They relish, and then release it as quickly as possible, deriding themselves all the while for even dwelling on such an idea. ‘That’s nice, how then will I work, though? I’m being stupid. Unrealistic.’

Perhaps I will return to this topic, and talk about the ramifications an idea like welfare can have on such foolish definitions.


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