Ruminating On: The Stigma of Inactivity

I’m an author, so, of course, one of my favorite things to hear is, “Why are you so tired? All you’ve been doing is sitting at a computer all day.” Luckily, my wife doesn’t do this, and neither do my kids, but there are quite a few people out there that actually consider “thinking” to be a lazy man’s profession. Are the keyboard pounders of the world usually out of shape? Yes. Does that mean we’re not active? Ah, now there’s something worth discussing.

Anyone who’s spent any significant amount of time in front of a computer will tell you that it can be exhausting. And no, not just those that frequent porn sites. Aside from Sylvester Strong-Arm, there are plenty of us who pay our bills by working a mouse and keyboard. Whether we be writers, programmers, technicians, or the flotsam that instigate the Saudi Prince emails, we do no less work than the average hole digger. Sure, our pecks and calves aren’t quite as impressive as Johnny Jackhammer, but our brains are flex worthy. Check out this +1 cranium, yo!

But I want to get down to the nitty gritty here. No one ever complains that scientists and lab rats should get off their asses and do something. No one accuses big-name authors of being lazy. But let the person in question be a struggling sort, someone who has yet to make it big, and all you hear is, “Why don’t you spend some time away from the computer? You know, get a life?” What this tells me is that the levels of our bank accounts closely mirror the level of our activity. Meaning, as long as you’re paying the bills, you’re working hard. If you’re attempting to pay the bills, not so much. This even overflows into the “real world”. Think about it. The fast food worker that makes minimum wage (and some of these people are college graduates who can’t find a job elsewhere, so keep your fucking assumptions to yourself) is constantly told they need to find a real job.  There are even memes floating around that say the guy who flips your burgers and cooks your fries doesn’t deserve fifteen bucks an hour. How so? What makes his job easier than, let’s say, a software technician?  On the flip side, what makes the software technician’s job worth more? But still… STILL! … we devalue those that do not succeed. It’s a double standard across the board, and the only set measurement has to do with money and/or success. But the simple fact of the matter is this: The people who work the hardest are usually paid the least. And this is because struggle is not valued. Accomplishment is. And activity is a state of mind.

Am I wrong? Am I right? Am I confusing or simply full of shit? Talk about it in the comments below.

I’ve been E. You’ve been you. Talk at you later!

(Author’s Note: If you found an error in today’s post, a typo or what have you, calm down. These things happen. Take a deep breath, have a coke and a smile, and maybe take up a career as an air traffic controller. This blog is not professionally edited. It’s a conversation, and I plan to keep it that way. Now, the books I sell, that’s a different story. Have a lovely day.)

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8 thoughts on “Ruminating On: The Stigma of Inactivity

  1. I agree with you completely. I could rant forever about my job but I will save you the headache but it all falls along the same lines. Basically what I do has no value because I don’t have PharmD after my name but certain people who do can do jack-shit-nothing all day and that’s okay because they are one of the ones who matter. The hardest work I ever did I made $6.50 an hour and it was in the food service industry.

    I think that most people are just jealous that not only can you write, you have the ability to do what you love instead of clocking in 8.5 hours a day at a job you hate.

      1. Oh yuck! You know, I spent about 7 weeks in boot camp and their eggs and biscuits tasted just like McDonald’s. Either that or I was delirious from lack of coffee — not entirely sure which.

  2. fuonlyknew

    Bless you E! You’ve said it perfectly with no soft pedaling, just the staright skinny. It’s sad that the hardest workers, the one who sacrifice time away from family and work til they are bone tired struggle to earn a living. Where would this country be without those willing to do the tedious jobs required to get things where they need to be or provide the services. And where would we be without the wordsmiths to take us away from the whole big mess called life:)
    Note: I’m one of those strugglers. Wasn’t always, but never forgot what makes this countrys wheels keep turning.

  3. I’ve always found doing art all day, while super satisfying, leaves me more tired than physical work. It’s emotionally and mentally exhausting!

    Some days I’d rather schlepp around a retail job because it’s not only exhausting, it can be destructive: I can be working until I’m cry and just so emotionally worn out I can’t even function properly.

    I think you have a valid complaint here.

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