I’m revisiting Maslow’s hierarchy. And I realise this:
Work is nowhere to be found in Maslow’s hierarchy!
And I also realise what an incredible challenge this is for us in the Western developed world. Many important things are there in the hierarchy – like food, safety, creative activities, friends and prestige. But we have – in our twisted Lutheran minds – somehow created this thing called “work” to replace “life” to fulfil many of the needs included in the pyramid. This might have been fine for a long time. But now we have definitely reached a point in human evolution where “work” as a concept does more harm than good. Some examples (you know them + more…): * We identify to an unhealthy degree with our work, and have problems building other meaningful identities. * We work too much and suffer individual, family and societal consequences of workaholism. * We work hard to gain status, instead on working on the right things to make our world a better place. * We work just for the sake of work.
So our challenge is to replace “work” with something else.
*** These crumbling illusions based on our mental or sociological lives slowly grind down the concept and illustrate its hollow nature. Another factor which rapidly transforms our image of the necessity of “work” is the fact that robots will soon take most of our jobs. And in our twisted Lutheran minds we cry; “No! No!” they’re taking our jobs!” instead of the healthier response “Yes! Yes! They’re taking our jobs!”. We’re scared of robots taking our jobs. But not because we fear the post-work life. No: We’re scared of robots taking our jobs, because we fear the unknown post-work concept – that concept, which will replace all elements in Maslow’s hierarchy (and more) soon. So. Let’s: A. Not fear the robots. B. Stop working. C. Start imagining and creating our personal and collective post-work futures.