[FOUNTAIN]Take it easy

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[FOUNTAIN]Take it easy

Ernie J. Zelinski is a life consultant from Canada. His book, “The Joy of Not Working,” urges people, “Do not work hard.”
The author only works four days a week, and does not work at all in the months without the letter “R” in their names: May, June, July and August. It is a life that many people dream of. The author’s basic thought is that unemployed people and retired people are much happier than people who work.
The logic is very simple. People should enjoy their lives, which they can live only once, because life is beautiful. Economic matters are not an important issue.
There is nothing more stupid than putting up the present as a security for the uncertain future. Clinging to the already gone past is also foolish.
The book cites the Buddhist Zen notion, “Life is like a lantern in front of the wind, a dew on the tip of the grass.” What matters most to the author is the concept of “here and now.” It is the carpe diem theory ―seize the day and enjoy the present while you have the chance.
Many philosophers point out the irrationality of labor, saying, “Labor ethics is slave ethics.” Aristotle said, “The goal of labor is only to achieve leisure.” Socrates and Plato also pointed out that being hung up on working is a serious mental problem. They said it is a tendency of masochism, feeling pleasure through pain. Bertrand Russell praised laziness, stating, “Being obsessed with work is also a symptom of mental disease.”
A short quiz: “Who in the world are you?” Most people would probably answer by stating their jobs they currently have. It is because people have a hard time defining themselves other than by the job they have.
There are so many fools out there thinking a decent name card can explain everything about them. “What is it that you really want?” Ernie J. Zelinski said that most people want to obtain both happiness and economic success at once because they are stupid and cannot even distinguish the difference between money, success and happiness.
According to a recent report, Korean undergraduate students spend an average of 1.88 million won ($1,900) annually on private tutoring for various subjects in order to overcome intense job competition. I feel a great pity that their first steps in society are not so smooth.
However, why does the voice of a philosopher, who argued that “I cannot waste my precious time and passion to earn money,” seem to sound much louder than the results of the report?

by Park Jai-hyun

The writer is a deputy city news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.
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