Unemployment Is Growing. Do You Know How it Will Affect You?
Today many people are uncertain and anxious about the future. Economists, financiers, and sociologists estimate that soon hundreds of millions worldwide will be out of work. They will have no income and no prospect of having one.
Yet, not having an income and not having a job are two different problems. The first problem, lack of income, occurs when a person is unable to provide for self and family, pay the bills, save money for old age, and provide for the kids in the future. In the absence of income, the pressure mounts and becomes anxiety.
The second problem is unemployment. People who lose their jobs normally seek a new one. But until they find one—a process that could take months and even years—they have a lot of free time which they need to spend in a worthwhile manner. Also, areas where people are unemployed often become crime zones where prostitution, drugs, and other negative social activities are rampant. The problem is that to mend the situation, society will have to pay far more than if it hired those unemployed people to do some socially useful service.
A person without a job for several years is often unable to keep one later on. Even an educated person may be unable to hold a job because when one is unemployed for a long time, one loses the state of mind of being employed and keeping a job.
This poses a huge problem that society may be unable to handle. Consequently, frustration and anger will erupt in the form of revolutions and riots when hundreds of millions of people are unable to find work. It will be like a tsunami washing over the entire planet, a social epidemic that breaks out in one country, inciting restlessness and protests, and that moves on like a virus from country to country.
In other words, the problem with dismissing people from their jobs is the idleness and bad habits that develop over time. Today, society can barely eke out enough to pay for the unemployed for a year or maybe two before it leaves the unemployed to find sustenance on their own.
Worse yet, the number of people unable to find work is still relatively small. But if we’re talking about millions losing their jobs, this is no longer a financial problem. We are not talking about providing the disenfranchised with staples since they won’t settle for staples. If there are millions of them, they will have power; they will have a say at the polls; and they will have a say in protests. We already have examples of where this trail can lead.
What Everybody Ought to Know About the Work Rat Race
The problem is that we never taught people the role of work in their lives. We didn’t pass on the attitude toward life that one can acquire—that of re-defining the concept of “being out of work.” So let’s first clarify the concept behind the word, “work.”
If we examine history, we see that as we’ve evolved, we’ve become increasingly removed from working to obtain life’s necessities. Instead, we have moved toward commerce, industry, culture, education, art, law, accountancy, fashion, media—none of which is an area necessary for existence. These are more of an adjunct to our necessities, yet they compose 90% of the occupations in human society!
Until approximately 200 years ago, people worked relatively long hours, but there were no machines or modern technology. Therefore, what people produced was used only for their personal survival. In those days there were few, if any, service providers in trades unnecessary for one’s survival.
Subsequently, industry and technology developed, and today a single industrial plant can produce thousands of cars and machines each day. Stores have such abundant food supplies; we needn’t prepare anything at home. Using instruments such as the microwave, we can prepare food quickly and effortlessly, unlike the long hours and labor required to prepare it in the past.
By constantly pushing ourselves, we’ve developed a new, modern way of life. We’ve developed technology that allows us to create all that we have around us. As a result, along with progress, we’ve been given abundant free time and have filled it up with numerous engagements that have nothing to do with necessities, though we might actually consider them as such.
But the main problem is that we fill our time with jobs intended primarily to satisfy our drives and passions. In the remaining time, we just play rather than doing something important such as occupying ourselves with our human aspects. Instead of wasting our time, we should spend it learning a system enabling us to build a just society of mutual guarantee.
If we examine our current way of life, we’ll discover that we work ten to twelve hours a day. We are under constant pressure.
We’re used to being in a constant rat race, so we fill our time with work. This is why we wonder, “What am I going to do when I retire? I could go mad from having nothing to do.” When we take an interest in a person, we find out what that person does for a living, not what he or she is like as a person and what his or her interests, hobbies, and preferences might be. In other words, we don’t examine people, but positions.
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, we seem to have lost the humane in Man. While we have developed industry, commerce, and business, we still feel like slaves to our jobs. The most important thing for us to do is to succeed at work; it’s become the focus of our lives.
The only question we need to consider is, “Is this why we were born, and why do we exist?”
Warning: The Past 200 Years Have Led to a Gigantic Crisis Today—Are You Falling Prey?
Today’s crisis summarizes and concludes our development over the past two centuries.
In the 1960s, some people predicted that if humanity continued on its current path, humankind would no longer be able to exist. However, most of us viewed life from a self-centered perspective; we were blind and insensitive. We didn’t want to recognize the fact that we were ruining Earth, ourselves, our children, and our futures.
Now that the crisis is here, we have no choice but to transform everything. But in what way should we go about it? First, the crisis will “clean up” all of human society. Like taking a piece of cloth and shaking the dust off, the crisis will clear out all those professions and roles that aren’t necessary for human existence. These professions cause Nature’s imbalance because they are redundant and only make our lives harder. They also compel us to work longer hours than is needed for basic sustenance. These professions harm both society and the Earth in general.
The crisis will also stop our tendency to value a person’s job or working conditions instead of the actual person. We will relate to the humane part in those around us, the part that each of us must complement.
The purpose of creation, as it appears to us through our evolution, is to lead us into a single, integral society, in balance with the whole of Nature. Now we are discovering that this global crisis is compelling us to do just that. Whether we like it or not, in order to put our lives back in order, we have to be connected.
To connect, we need to learn how to rearrange our entire society. As we are gradually being forced out of our jobs, we need to dedicate the time made available by unemployment to learning how to transform ourselves. We must begin to create a mutual, integral connection, and achieve mutual guarantee. We need to change and find the human within us and make it a vital part of the new, united society.
To establish such a society, we need integral education, which will be available to all. We must set up a network that keeps us as busy as before, except that our activities will be divided into two hours of work and six or seven hours of learning and activities.
During those hours, we will learn, internalize, and change along with others so we can establish this integral society. Then, we will appreciate people as human beings according to their efforts and their success at being humane, not according to their positions or jobs.
This is a massive task, but without achieving it, we won’t rise to the next level that Nature has prepared for us, which is being revealed through the current crisis. The crisis is showing us our next degree. It is showing us the flaws within us, compared to the next state.
Are You Ashamed of Your Ego?
To achieve all this, we must change from within. We must perceive how dependent we are on each other and draw the right conclusions. Put differently, we need to create ourselves as humans, something we have never done before because we didn’t feel it was necessary.
In fact, now is the time to “recognize the bad,” the time when we realize that the ego has led us to use our capabilities the wrong way and is heading us in the wrong direction.
Instead of giving ourselves an additional six or seven hours freed from worrying about necessities, we’ve filled those hours with redundancies. Now, thanks to the crisis, we’re finally realizing that we have to make that time available to build ourselves as human beings.
We, as well as our children, need this education. Until now, we’ve been concerned primarily with our children getting an education that will get them a job. We paid little to no attention to building ourselves as human beings. Instead, we placed emphasis on getting a job and on learning how to manipulate everyone else so as to excel over others.
Now we need to focus our education on building our children, as well as ourselves, as human beings. When we do, we’ll see a good, integral world; all the crises afflicting us today will disappear; and a new world will arise.
The change will be such that we will no longer perceive life as working from dawn to dusk with two hours in the evening—at best—for seeing the family and running last-minute errands. We need to turn life into something entirely different. We need to build systems in which everyone works only the necessary hours and spends the rest of the time learning, training, and being educated. In fact, it is time to change our entire social structure. This is the challenge that is now before us.
Written by Michael Laitman
Michael Laitman is a global thinker dedicated to generating a transformational shift in society through a new global education, which he views as the key to solving the most pressing issues of our time. He is the Founder of the ARI Institute, Professor of Ontology & Theory of Knowledge, PhD in Philosophy, MS in Medical Cybernetics. You can find him on Google+, YouTube and Twitter