Working for a Living, Living for a Working

Do you remember when you were young and in class the teacher would often ask ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’. If I remember correctly, almost all of us wanted to be Doctors, Lawyers or Scientists (whatever that means). As naïve as our answers were, the question did imbibed in us the consciousness that we had to become something when we grew up. Maybe we have answered the childhood question; we may now want to explore the adult question: What are we now?

Let me remind you of something else. When you were leaving school, you do remember that feeling that you no longer had an excuse to collect money for free, the feeling that always having someone to ask may not be guaranteed anymore, and the fact that the adrenalin fuelled by the need to read for exams and test was about to be attacked seriously. After school, it seemed it was now time to be. So what have you become?

The 24 by 7 nature and globalization of service delivery in the 21st century has made it necessary that the few egg-heads (and favoured ones) who get the plum jobs end up becoming … well … something defined by those who pay them. Their 8 to 9 (not 9 to 5 mind you) jobs has effective turned the tables and they find themselves living to work. Living to make a working!

We observed a one-minute silence for someone who passed on in my organization today. I wonder whether after his toil we are able to give him back more than one minute. Food for thought and I must say, common knowledge. But I will again repeat the fundamental question: what have we become since childhood? What has become of our dreams? What has happened to our zeal? What tunes are we playing with our lives? Ours or the Payers? Whose pipe are we playing?

It’s worth thinking about again, whether we have lost our dreams to the rat race, sold our visions for money or become consumed with playing a borrowed role. What have we become?