July 24, 2017

Anti-working?


In many of my writings, I talked on my life after I stopped working ... on why I took an early retirement, living a simple life, taking things easy, contented, spending time ... so on and so forth.

I got a lot of feedbacks and comments from these writings ... some said I have a knack for always asking people to stop working. One comment went on to say that I am “anti-working” ... now, that is the first time I saw this word ... is there such word? Anyway, it doesn’t matter ... I know what it means.

Look, I must admit that at times I do suggest that maybe some people should retire ... but NO, I am not “anti-working” ... as a matter of fact, go work if you need to ... work HARDER if you still don’t have enough.

I have worked for many years and worked very hard in those years ... in many junctions of my working life, I worked harder than many people in order to have financial stability and comfort for me and my family. When I came to the point where I thought I have enough already ... I stopped working for more and make do with what I already have.

Don’t get me wrong ... I am not asking people not to work ... if one understands where I come from, I am saying that people should stop working WHEN THEY HAVE ENOUGH. But then the question is ... how much is enough? This is so subjective ... each of us have different ideas on when it is enough. Maybe I come back to this later ... let’s talk about work first.

I have a friend who stays in a 5000 square feet landed semi-detached house with his wife, two preteen daughters and two hamsters ... he owns a fleet of luxury cars, the cheapest being the X6. He is about to reach retirement age and when I told him that he should stop working then ... he was very quick and firm to reply NO ... not only he needs to continue to work ... he needs to work HARDER ... not enough yet.

Well, there is nothing wrong with that ... but really, that is not working harder ... that is working for MORE. And if that is not enough ... it will never be enough.

Yes, people need to work for MONEY ... unless you have parents who have worked their asses off and left you with a huge fortune or you want to stay in the jungle and live like Tarzan, you need to work. And you will need to work harder if you are struggling with the ever rising cost of living.

I can understand why a civil servant continues to work after retirement taking on Uber to make some money or a young couple working extra hours to raise a family ... they simply don’t have enough, so they needed to work and work harder.

But many people who already have enough and they still work well beyond their retirement age ... just because the money and benefits are easy to come by ... the temptation is strong, the lure is sweet and the desire for more is addictive. But then they don’t admit it ... they like to say that they work because they want to past time.
I work to past time

Strange ... they have to work, if they don’t, then they have a lot of time. So they continue to work because they need to past time. REALLY? Come on, that is BFS! People don’t work to past time ... it is like ... oh, today I have nothing to do, so I go to work to past some time. Does this sound right? Not only this doesn’t sound right ... this is absurd!

People play golf to past time, people watch movies to past time, people take their family out to past time ... people rest, people sleep and some people do absolutely nothing to past time. That is why we have weekends and rest days ... where we do what we like to past time ... not WORK.

People go to work because they get PAID ... they work because there is MONEY and benefits for them ... they are not going to work to past time. And please don’t come tell me you go to work for fun ... there is no fun working!

But let me say this again... there is absolutely nothing wrong if people want to work for more money and “past their time” while working ya ... just that it sounds strange to me.

I said earlier ... I am not “anti-working” ... I know a few who are in their 70s and are still working. Most are actively working in social programs and organizations ... contributing their services to the needy without any remuneration. And one doctor I met in Hong Kong worked until he died in his clinic ... I think he was 85. The good doctor was running a free clinic and offered his services to those in need. These people work but they are not paid ... as a matter of fact, at times they have to use their own resources to do what they are doing. They are working to help make things a bit better for the society ... I admire these people.

What I am trying to tell people is ... when you have enough, maybe you want to think of retiring and spend some time with your spouse, children, parents, friends or spending time on yourself ... better if you can spend time and resources doing something for the good of the society ... think about that.

Well, somehow one will have to stop working finally ... some will stop when their health and well being is affected, there will be a few like the good doctor who worked until the day they die but for many, it will boils down to when they think they have enough.

So when do you think it is enough? How do you measure it?

By my opinion ... how much is enough should be measured by time, health and contentment. If it is measured by wealth and possessions, riches and opulence, titles and recognitions  ... it will never be enough.

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