One day a person was running, this person was called common man but he had all the qualities of a robot. Another individual came, this individual was called human spirit and asked him what he was doing, the common man said I am running and this is what I do repetitively everyday nonstop that’s what makes me qualified as a perfect robot. The spirit asked but you don’t seem like a robot. The common man replied: Yes, I was born as human but the society and prevalent environment forced me to turn into a robot and that’s what I am now. The spirit told the common man that you should stop running and the common man replied that I will die if I stop running that’s how social and economic covenant has programmed me. But this is false, you can take rest, said the spirit, you will not die. My programming restricts on doubting, rejecting and negating this state of affair of mine therefore I run and run, replied the common man. The spirit asked Okay! Then can you tell me why are you running, the objective behind it and the common man replied what is ‘Why’? We are not allowed to ask ‘Why’. Because everyone else is running, therefore, I am also running. The spirit was shocked and then further asked you should be coming first in race then. The common man said; No. Than second position asked the spirit and again the man replied, No! Then third, fourth, fifth…. etc but every time the answer was nothing but no. The spirit said that then you are the one that falls in middle. The common man said yes! I am a person that belongs to middle tier of worldly classes whether social or economic or any other because my routine minimize my chances and prohibits me from progression to next tier of society and life. The spirit asked so what will be the end of your story. The common man replied with a blank face death.
The story above would seem familiar. This story represents life of masses living in 21st Century. After industrial revolution waves spread around the world, humanity experienced a massive surge in materialistic growth, benefits and wellbeing and then the boom of information technology and artificial intelligence brought with it new channels of communication, data and information sharing through social media but this surge and boom also brought negative psychological consequences. It also brought with it culture of materialism and consumerism. Most of us participate in consumer culture and value material possessions, and that’s perfectly fine for normal being.
In this eminent culture of material worship, we work day and night long hours without rest like robots in a race to earn more and more to spend later on modern materialistic desires which have taken hold of our souls. We are programmed from beginning to evolve into money earning machine. Our education system is molded in such a way that prepare us to earn when we grow up not to educate us or furnished and strengthen human creativity. Our parents, relatives and society prepare us mentally that a successful person is the one who has a dream job with big income. Our jobs represent us in this postmodern society. In the scale of success, one who earn most comes at top and one who earns less or nothing at the bottom. The individual at bottom tier is not even treated as a person but like a pathogen in body of society. Even the binding force of relations have become money taking place of love.
Besides all the luxury provided by modern technology and all the material wealth and after all day running behind money and working as machine, in the end we are still not happy. This generational unhappiness and dysfunction is the inherited product of mass industrialization compounded by the social effects of severe work and living conditions.
The working culture has become so pathetic that overworking has become notoriously part of work ethics. We keep working from morning till night and forget that we worked for our self and our family but with this extreme routine of working we lost our self and all our relations in the way and only the daily repetitive and exhaustive routine of work remains the only definition of our life and all other things like self-actualization, socializing and time for our own selves becomes a prohibited territory for us to quest and to be what is called true human, to live to true potential of our human nature.
In this race of life, we have lost our humanity but still we don’t stop. Resisting or objecting to this culture is considered a taboo. Even if someone arrange the courage to talk against this state of affairs, they are silenced with dumb excuse that everyone else is following this pattern and they should adhere to like a sheep in a flock being round up.
We should reflect in solitude and ask ourselves that is this all. All this fuss for what? Is everything in our life is money or material wealth or life is waiting to offer us more which we are unable to see or deliberately not seeing? Is job or occasion of a person will define a person or a person is above and more than his job? Is this way of life worth living for? Whether humanity still exist inside us or we have changed to something else? Working from morning till night nonstop and carrying a burden more than we can bear will make us better off or we are just living in an illusion that it will benefit us in some way.
No one is trying to understand a thing so simple that we came in this world empty handed and will go empty handed. Therefore, do not waste this life running behind new desires. Remember, everyday arising desires and needs has no end but life has an end. Our life is shorter than we realize. Control the needs and desires and pass the valuable life with ease and less burden of fulfillment. As fulfillment of desires is just an illusion with no result and no end.