The Wage Slave

I work as a wage slave. It’s a time-filler and money maker until the MPhil starts in January. However, some of the posts that I have written here, and some of the thinking that I do while I’m there, in the other place, have made me conscious of the disconnect that exists between the things that happen in ‘real life’. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to lose focus and the things that happen in Afghanistan. Sometimes this can be a good thing. Sometimes, not so much.

It is important not to get too wrapped up in things. But it’s also important to retain a sense of what’s happening that might be out of sight. This was driven home to me some time a few months ago. I watched The Hurt Locker. That evening, I was miserable, truly miserable. I could barely summon the energy to go to work. I was working at the time as a bartender. With the images from The Hurt Locker in my mind, I tried to create enthusiasm for a job that I loved.

The thing that shook me up most about it was the blinding ubiquity of the whole situation. Out of sight is, of course, out of mind. And seeing it, albeit through the lens of Hollywood, first-hand had a powerful effect on me. I (almost) couldn’t bring myself to go into work and serve alcohol to people, in ‘a great party atmosphere’, and reconcile that this was my job, and yet, others’ jobs really are the things that I had seen in the film I watched earlier that day.

The Hurt Locker gave me some perspective on the whole issue. It was also at this point that I realised that this had to be something that I threw myself into. I have to devote myself to this (I’m sure my new wife will appreciate it). It’s something that I feel passionately about.

Riding back from my current job yesterday, I convinced myself that, at least in part, solving Afghanistan’s drug problem will cure all of society’s ‘evils’. Of course it won’t. The universe has been around for an eternity. It will be around for eternity, and humans have no impact on the passage of time. But I think that it’s important, during ones conscious blip on the planet to improve the lives of others.

It’s easy to dismiss the things that I really care about when I get home. I’m tired from the day’s labours (minimal though they are). Of course, I know that I’m nowhere near as tired as the people who I’m writing about, the soldiers, the people living through the strife and anguish. But I’m tired nonetheless. And it’s hard to summon interest when I get home.

I am excited when I get home, but life gets in the way. Something there must be done. It’s difficult to be focused here. There are many distractions, few of them directly my fault.

I will endeavour to work harder on these problems. The focus. The distractions. The collective apathy and ignorance. All of these are issues that I am trying to overcome with this blog and these interactions.


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