Humans spend obscene amounts of time working. Look at cats and dogs – they spend about 80% of their time sleeping and get to live close to 120 in human years!
In normal state of nature we, humans, would spend about 60% of our time sleeping too, and the rest of it – having sex.
But humans are bent on working even if that shortens their life span and drives them to insanity. Work doesn’t make humans happier, so why do we want to work? Inexplicably, we not only want to work, we are obsessed with work.
Which of the animals would eat a plant that would make them work longer? Only humans are interested to prolong the waking hours in order to work more, so they learned to extract the best of the caffeine from the coffee plants.
Caffeine is toxic for most of animals – it can kills certain insects and when ingested by goats may unreasonably excite them to pointless bleating and hopping about till they drop in near death exhaustion.
It made it to the history books because without coffee there would be no overwrought, overlong Balzac novels that no one in the right minds reads now, nor industrial revolution that brought us financial inequality and cheap goods from China.
People just wouldn’t get up in the morning to do the chores or go to the factory if there was no coffee. But they also wouldn’t quit working if there was no happy hour which is a proof that beer is a better invention than an espresso cup. YouTube is full of videos of dogs drinking beer but have you seen a dog drinking espresso? *
But back to work.
I am not against working – after all, that feeling of having accomplished something at the end of the day is a good drug. I am just against overdosing it. The federal regulation limiting a work week to 40 hours didn’t come from nowhere. Too much work makes a person less of a person.
But, to my humble opinion, working 8 hours a day is still too much of a good thing.
It is addictive and makes person feel numb, indifferent to the troubles of the world.
To protect the humanity I would impose 4 hour workdays and 3 days weekend.
Only then we humans would truly appreciate and welcome work in our lives.
The 4 hours of work would become the prize, the pinnacle of the day.
The dream of 4 hour workday was shared in the past by socialists and capitalists alike. Idealists, they thought that by year 2000 the machines will do all the boring work for people and people will be free to do creative things, like inventing new machines or attending creative writing classes.
In 2000, indeed, a lot of human work is done by machines and the unemployment is high. For some strange reason, the unemployed aren’t happy. I guess, old work addiction is hard to let go. Ironically, the humans who are still employed are working longer hours doing the creative work machines can’t do – sweeping toilet floors in airports (machines apparently can’t make the judgment where floor is clean and where it is dirty), driving trucks (because personal cars are still driven by imperfect humans who’s judgment is impaired by drink, bad breakup, old age or near-sightness the truck driving is a creative decision making that no machine can do) and conceiving independent animated feature films. Please, note, this relates only to independent animated films, as the big studio multi million animated features seem to be conceived by some machine – with very little plot variation they have identical characters with identical problems, identical narrative arch and predicable endings.
As one of the lucky humans still able to indulge my work habit, I nevertheless believe in working less. Less coffee, more beer, more happy hours.
Now – back to work.
- The dogs, – you’d say. – Why would they want to drink coffee? – They don’t have a job.
But they do! Dogs do have a job – the very important companionship job.
Do you think if dogs had coffee they would be better, more alert companions?
What makes a good companion is the presence. Relaxed attention. A job only a coffeeless dog can do.