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“Leisure time is only leisure time when it is earned; otherwise, leisure time devolves into soul-killing lassitude. There’s a reason so many new retirees, freed from the treadmill of work, promptly keel over on the golf course: Work fulfills us. It keeps us going.” – Ben Shapiro
Shapiro hits on one of the main reason the loss of jobs is so devastating. Even if the government were able to reimburse the wages of all of those thrown out of work, life would still be unsatisfying for many. They have not earned that leisure time. It feels wrong, and they feel marginalized. They feel unfulfilled.
While my writing does not bring in nearly as much money as the day job, it brings in enough for survival. Not just financial survival, but psychological survival. I may be locked up at home, but I am still productive enough to earn my keep.
Life without a job often feels like life under siege. Those with adequate reserves wait out the besiegers. Those without watch their stores dwindle away until surrender is inevitable. In my case (and in the case of many retirees) the siege is not a close one. Resources slip in. Sometimes more than is consumed.
Yet having resources for survival is not enough. People have a need to be useful and productive. I look forward to returning to a day job. Even when I reach the age I can retire, I will celebrate that not because I can cease working, but rather because that gives me to freedom to choose what work I undertake.
The angels of heaven are not idle. They labor at what they love, knowing their work is fruitful. The inmates of hell endure an existence of enforced idleness.
Shapiro is right. Work fulfills us.Published in