Floatin’ ‘Round the Sun, Lookin’ for a Handout

Surfing the Twitterfeed this morning, I came across a revealing tweet—revealing in that I’m amazed that grownups really do engage in such childish thinking. I’m reproducing that tweet below. Because of the hypercompressed 140-character limit of a tweet, the original message took some effort to read, so I’ve decompressed it for ease of reading:

“Do you really believe we’re supposed to work 8 to 14 hours a day to live on a planet that floats around the sun in this vast universe?”

I tweeted back:

” To restate: ‘The universe owes me a living.’ Defies ancient wisdom. Good luck w/ that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ant_and_the_Grasshopper .”

Good luck with that, Grasshopper.

It’s discouraging to realize how many people in this world have no concept of how human civilization functions. Things like wealth, food, transportation, computers, smart phones, and the other accoutrements of our culture do not simply pop into existence because our planet “floats around the sun in this vast universe.”

All of these things exist because people work, create, sacrifice, invest, and produce. Productive people make it possible for us to enjoy the benefits of civilization. Willfully nonproductive people—those who are able to be productive but choose not to—are a drag on the economy and a detriment to society. (Obviously, a compassionate society takes care of those who are mentally or physically incapable of work, so I’m not referring to those who, through no fault of their own, are incapable of being productive.) 

Wealth doesn’t simply exist. It doesn’t fall out of the sky. It doesn’t come from nowhere. Wealth must be created, and wealth is created through work. If you think the universe owes you a living, you are profoundly ignorant. And if you, an able-minded and able-bodied human being, are not doing your part to create wealth for the benefit of yourself, your family, and your society, then you are a parasite, living off the productivity, creativity, and industriousness of others.  

So the answer is yes, I really do believe you’re supposed to work 8 to 14 hours a day to live on this planet. That is real-world wisdom. Defy this ancient wisdom at your own risk.

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