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What’s the point of having things, jobs, relationships if you aren’t content at the end of the day to enjoy them?
I often wonder if life would be better if we didn’t try and make it better in the first place. For example, factories are supposed to make life better by producing goods at a fast rate which ensures people get the things they need/want.
Do we have too much?
Let’s start with this imaginary factory worker: he has deadlines—he must produce 100 little toy cars an hour or else he’ll be fired. Company policy. His supervisor MUST get the daily shipments out on the truck by 4:30pm or else all the labor for little toy cars will be outsourced. So 100 little toy cars get made per hour for 40 hours a week by our factory worker along with about a dozen others. Then of course, the factory needs to fulfill their contracts with the stores and deliver on time.
The little toy cars have now reached the store where stock workers labor to get all the merchandise onto the sales floor. Its all done on a tight schedule—gotta make sure the store is filled. So, everyone gets their jobs done, and now people have access to little toy cars!
These are VERY IMPORTANT little toy cars?
Here’s what ends up happening: Aunt Elaine needs “just one more little thing” for her nephew’s gift bag because she didn’t feel she bought enough. He is six. She doesn’t know anything about him. But she would, “Never show up to a birthday party without a gift! Oh my gosh no, how tacky.”
Inside the store, the new little toy car section caught her eye. Fun/sporty blue packaging, all of them are front faced and fully stocked—of course it caught her eye.
She buys one.
Fast forward four months from when she buys the little toy car—the store receives an email from its corporate office to prepare the area that had little toy cars for a new product. Technically, the store only had to sell a handful to make even. So despite having to throw away boxes of merchandise, the store doesn’t lose money. The factory didn’t lose money. Workers will keep their jobs.
The product itself just never really mattered.
A factory worker could have lost his job over a little toy car that ends up in the garbage six months later.
We create work. And that’s silly.
“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”
— Chuck Palahniuk