Yesterday, my friend Jennifer forwarded an article entitled “Are we Joyless working machines?”
I happen to be listening to a book on tape entitled “Three Cups of Tea.”
And I went to a winery event last night.
What do these three things have to do with each other, you ask? Well- I’m thinking today about the correlations between loving work and living joyfully and looking young.
In Three Cups of Tea, this crazy-ass dude (Greg Mortenson) attempts to climb K2 mountain in Pakistan only to be stopped because he chose to participate in a rescue mission which ultimately drained his ability to continue climbing. He was nurtured to health by a small, poor tribe in a barren village near the mountain, where the infant survival rate was around 50%. The Balti people subsisted on next-to-nothing yet seemed to Mr. Mortenson to be the happiest people he’d met. They reveled in their yak-dung fires and ate bits of ibex fat as a rare candy treat. Food, fire and water were equally distributed amongst the members of the tribe. They knew how to solve problems through consultation and discussion. They enjoyed the simple things in life, like sex and food and fire.
What is happiness and joy, anyway? Is it working all day to be able to buy stuff? How does anyone stay awake long enough to enjoy it?
How much work is too much? Does it depend on whether or not it’s enjoyable?
Anecdotally, I think the more pleasure we feel, the happier we are, and the better we look and feel. I submit the wine event I attended last night.
I was lucky to meet some great people- a couple (married 46 years) that grow grapes in Taylors Falls; a couple who just got together, and they’re both in their 90s; a woman who grew up in Australia and was wearing the most beautiful pink Indian top. They all looked so vibrant, happy, and young. Alan complimented me by saying he thought I looked not a day older than 27. I retorted that he couldn’t be over 50. We were both somewhere between 10 to 20 years off in our guesses.
I seem to be interacting more with people who absolutely love and feel passionate about what they’re doing. And it shows in their demeanor and even appearance. Correlation without causation? I don’t think so!
Why do we feel compelled to be joyless working machines? Do we have to be, in order to live? I think I’ll pick young (looking at least) and happy. So there.
Go out and have a great weekend!