Ask Umbra’s Book Club: Does your job own you?
How did you like our first book club selection, Dolly Freed’s Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money? I thoroughly enjoyed it—aside from some mild retching at the thought of removing a turtle’s gallbladder (a necessary step for a proper snapper soup)—and came away feeling amused, inspired, and challenged. But enough about my insights; I’m much more interested in your inklings.
In the first chapter, Freed writes, “People don’t own possessions, their possessions own them,” and, “We have and get the good things in life so easily it seems silly to go to some boring, meaningless, frustrating job to get the money to buy them, yet almost everyone does. ‘Earning their way in life,’ they call it. ‘Slavery,’ I call it.”
What do you think about what Freed’s saying here? Do you think you’re a slave to your job or possessions? I saw a distinct connection between this concept and Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff, in which Leonard describes the neverending treadmill of working to buy stuff, collapsing exhaustedly after work in front of the TV, where we’re told to buy more stuff, going back to work to earn more money to buy said stuff, and so on. What do you think about the relationship between Freed’s and Leonard’s messages?
Let’s get the discussion rolling in the comments below. I’ll pop in with feedback throughout the day. And stay tuned tomorrow for more queries and conversation starters. We’ll stick with the Possum Living discussion through Friday, when I’ll announce the next book selection, which we’ll be dissecting in May. (You can follow along with all the book club posts here.)
Ask a Question.
Readers can upvote a question; Umbra answers it!