The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

The Busy Trap

I’ve seen a number of folks link to this piece recently, which means many of us identify with the problem outlined within. I agree with the author that using ‘busy’ as a badge of honour is a sign of misaligned priorities in our culture.

But his conclusion is disturbingly myopic. The idea that everyone should work 4–5 hours per day and then relax and socialize the rest of their day shows a severely limited worldview. I hope Tim Kreider realizes that when he’s sitting down to a nice lunch with a friend, in order for them to enjoy those pomme frites, somewhere down the line there is a person who has to work more than 4–5 hours per day. Many lines of work simply require more time.

Most importantly, this type of thinking is only possible in an affluent location. The majority of the world’s population has to work extremely long hours simply to exist. So let’s not be busy for busy’s sake, but let’s also work hard to make things better for others, not only ourselves.

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