Charlie's Blog: Hard Work


Hard Work

I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.

Life is not a meritocracy. The rewards of this world do not always go to the deserving. Life is not fair. The wheat and the tares grow side by side, and the wheat struggles against the tares until the separation and the fire. The ancients said that the gods would first make proud those who they aimed to destroy. I think God rewards those most genereously in this life who will suffer most severely in the next life. I don't agree with those who say that you can't take it with you. You can take it with you into Hell. The riches of this world become the chains of damnation like Marley's ghost in the Dickens tale weighted down for eternity by his filthy lucre. The injustices of this world are temporary, and no one gets away with anything.

If your viewpoint is confined to life under the sun, the facts of life can be very demoralizing. The wicked prosper. I have a friend of mine who likes to say that he believes in karma. Whatever you do in this life, you will pay for in this life. I always point out to him that he is wrong. When you consider that a scoundrel like Fidel Castro has outlived all his enemies, you have to shake your head and wonder where justice is in the world. Or contemplate the second and third generation rich who never lifted their hands a single time to the doing of real work. Or consider those who work in government living off of the taxes of hardworking Americans while producing absolutely nothing of value. They will retire to a guaranteed pension while the citizens they "served" get to eat Alpo. Like it or not, people do all sorts of bad things, and they get away with it in this world. This is life under the sun.

I tend to divide the world into two basic classes. There are those who work hard, and there are those who work hard at not working. The first class are honest, give value for the dollar, and have modest ambitions. The second class are dishonest schemers looking to get over on the first class. The first class of producers are absolutely vital since nothing would exist apart from their productive labor. When you consider that the food you eat, the car you drive, and the clothes you wear came from the labor of someone else, your life is utterly dependent on the hard work of other people. The second class of parasites provide little to no value whatsoever. These parasites will labor mightily to convince you that their "services" are vital, so they will point to their hours at the office as if that means something. They "earned" their ill gotten gains. I can allow these schemers their looted wealth, but I will not allow them to retain their self-delusion or good opinion of themselves.

When you consider the work that you do, you need to ask yourself these questions. What value do I create? How does this value serve the needs of others? And is my compensation fair relative to that contribution? Most blue collar jobs will have no trouble with these questions. But if you make your living as a financial services rat, a corporate middle manager, a government bureaucrat, or from other sorts of scheming, I can end the mystery for you. You are what is wrong with the world. The world does not need you. If the thought of doing real work horrifies you, you are a parasite. If your life is spent living off the work of others, you are a parasite. And if you spend a good part of your day denigrating the working class, you are a parasite.

I believe in hard work. This is because I believe in honesty. At this point, the cynic will scoff, and the parasite will sneer. Hard work is for suckers too stupid to get out of doing it. There is an element of truth in this mockery. I do not believe you will ever get rich doing hard work. I define rich as what an average Goldman Sachs trader pulls down each year to "manage capital." To give you an idea, one Goldman Sachs trader sued the firm for the "insult" of paying him a paltry $7 million instead of the promised $10 million he felt he had earned. There are people who have starved and put themselves through medical school who will never earn as much as that insult. The only suffering a Goldman Sachs trader endures is having to snort lines of cocaine in the restroom to cure his hangover before his shift on the trading desk where he gets to gamble all day with other people's money.

As I said, the world is not fair. But you should still do hard work and be honest. Why? Here are your alternatives. You can be lazy and try to make it on welfare and charity like the guy who gets a disability check because he can't handle the stress of working a job. Or, you can become a schemer and sacrifice your soul. Or, you can work hard, keep your self-respect and your soul, and make an honest living. The reason people become embittered is because that honest living yields a modest living. You won't get rich from hard work, but you won't be exactly poor either. Your life will fall somewhere in the middle. For many people, this existence in the middle is unbearable. This is where you get your dreamers.

If you ask young people today what their dreams are, they almost never tell you that they aspire to be janitors or garbage collectors. Plan A is to make big dollars in athletics and rap music. Plan B is to make big dollars managing athlets and rap stars. Plan Z is doing work emptying garbage cans, and it only becomes a dream when Plans A-Y implode usually leaving a mountain of student debt to repay. People will risk almost anything including epic colossal monumental failure to escape the life of the ordinary man or woman. You would be wrong to think that greed is what motivates these dreamers. Greed is easily satisfied in the world of the schemers. The dreamers yearn for recognition. They want the world to tell them that they are someone important. There is no American Idol for the next superstar janitor.

To be righteous is to be ordinary, hard working, and unknown. I'm not sure when it happens, but there comes a point in a working person's life when they accept this honest path of living and recognize it as the superior way. This is when they see the vanity of riches and ego and embrace the dignity of decency. It is when they value the opinion of God and their own selves over the empty show of this world. I can honestly say that being working class is voluntary suffering because opportunities for dreaming and scheming abound. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't see at least one person getting over. But I pity them. They think I am a fool for working. I think they are fools for selling their souls for such a low price. I just don't want what they have, and I do not believe that God forsakes the righteous. Justice will prevail. It just doesn't happen in this life.