Stepping Off of the Hamster Wheel

Former President John Adams once penned, “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation: one is by the sword; the other is by debt.” His prophetic statement speaks volumes about the current state of the global economic attitude alongside the recent finance related suicides of citizens in Japan and the UK. While the wealthy few pull the strings and there is little chance for the average citizen to compete with rising costs and falling wages–paired with the fact that millions of employees work solely to pay bills rather than out of enjoyment for their industry–“enslavement” seems the perfect term to assign to the predicament.

Time to Quit

Tragedy is not the only answer to escaping the “caged hamster” situation of running in place; at the end of the day, one is always able to quit a job. If work pressure is bringing about a prolonged mental state of negativity, it may be time to seek employment elsewhere. Bills can often be paid in lower increments or frozen in the case of economic hardship with a simple call to the demanding party. Living costs are also negotiable; programs such as Help Exchange and World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms offer food and housing in exchange for farm help. Given the human being’s inherent need for food, such programs may be the next evolution in the socioeconomic structure for maintaining sustainability.

Life’s Beautiful Distractions

In the case of work pressures taking place within one’s dream industry, getting through the stress to hold on to a potentially dream-fulfilling position can be as simple as relaxing. Adding more variety to the day by engaging in activities for pleasure between shifts is a remarkably simple anti-anxiety treatment. Music is particularly known for its stress-relieving effects, as well as exercise; similarly, incorporating time for yoga or other meditative activities may help to bring the daily stresses of work into perspective.  Free support forums are available across the internet to help the work-wary wax anxious in good company, and are often helpful resources for finding reputable local therapists.

The Underground Railroad

Escaping economic enslavement is the opus of the Zeitgeist Movement, an activist branch of the Venus Project aimed at creating a “resource-based economy.”  Through social media networking and lectures worldwide, its members propose a new paradigm for human beings: sustainable, waste-free living devoid of artificial concoctions in which each person is afforded the same basic rights of clean water, good food, and safe shelter. With the advances of technology, such a style of life is quite possible; the problem of instigating such a system lies in overcoming current outdated practices, such as using a monetary system and assigning busy work to perpetuate consumerism. The inception of such a system, however, would drastically alter the human experience.  Rather than a struggle, life could become a wonderful, limitless journey of understanding.  The Zeitgeist Movement is still in its early stages, but offers a promising option as a sort of new-age Underground Railroad for those enslaved by debt.

Despite the seemingly hopeless living situation human beings face today, there are always options, and the voices talking about them are growing ever louder.

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  1. Church
    Posted May 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Nice. Glad to know there are ways to cheat the system while simultaneously attempting to get out.

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