I’ve always had mixed feelings about missing school or work. I romanticize the idea of halting production for a day to unwind and regroup, but it never works out the way I imagine.
It will be so nice, I tell myself, to meander around the house, watch some Netflix, do some writing, stretch out the joints, meditate. I’ll slow the pace of life and bask in the perfect presence of reality–no imperatives, no responsibilities.
But it’s a pipe dream.
The truth is, this seemingly blissful retreat offers little more than biting anxiety followed by a creeping depression–both mental and physical. Why can’t I enjoy a little “me time” without regressing to a state of discontent more pronounced and spontaneous than anything my day-to-day life presents?
It’s the Messiah Complex.
Driving my behavior and model of the world is a core value of production. It’s always better to produce something rather than nothing, right? Isn’t that why we’re here? To make the world a little better than it was when we arrived?
Such a premise seems entirely employable on the surface. But dig in a little and some interesting questions begin to emerge. What drives this obsession with production? Is it the yearning to create change in the world? To provide the unique solutions only my mind can conjure? To be a savior to all those in need?
It seems this core value survives on some pretty grandiose pretenses. Where along the line did I become so special? Probably around the time I started alienating myself from others, thinking my perspective of the world is fundamentally different.
With the stakes so high, no wonder I’m complacent. People expect a lot from a God. That’s a full-time job with no holidays and added weekends. Any moment spent piddling around the house for nothing’s sake is a profound misuse of resources.
It’s interesting how something so admirable on the surface can be so damaging beneath it. Positive change is a great prerogative, sure. But if it’s motivated by an inflated ego and a need for more, it will only serve to alienate, inhibit and depress.
It reminds me of this quote from the Bhagavad Gita:
“It’s better to be an honest street sweeper than a dishonest king.”