Sumiko Tan, in her 29 June column on The Straits Times, wrote that she “lives to work” instead of the more common motto “works to live. “

Most of us in the right mind will probably say she is crazy. Unlike her, I only work to live; not the other way round. There are so many things that I want to do in my life that I can’t do because work gets in the way. I am sure that most of us work for the sole reason of earning enough money to do something outside of work, like going for a vacation or enjoying some fine dining, etc. So, if we have more-than-enough money in the bank to retire, would we not quit our jobs immediately, regardless of how much we like our jobs? I bet it would be extremely hard to find someone who won’t.

However, even so, I actually consider work to be the most important thing in life. Since most of us would wither and die without a proper job to sustain life, this seems like a very logical conclusion, but I suspect most people do not think so. It may seem natural to consider other more obvious aspects like family and recreation as most important in life, but think of it, without a job to those who are breadwinners in the family, none of the other things in life can be sustained. So, in a way even though we may hate our work when it gets in the way of leisure, the actual right thinking should be leisure getting in the way of work! In other words, work should always be first priority, and if leisure get in the way, throw it out!

I once had a colleague who worked till 11pm daily and ‘camped’ in the office during the weekends too. You may think that her life was miserable, but you would be surprised how happy she was just concentrating all her energy on her job every day. Instead, it was us who have leisure interrupting our work, feeling miserable. Isn’t this ironic?

So, even though I would rather work to live, I have great respect for those who live to work because I think they are the only ones living up to the purpose of their lives, which unfortunately is to work 😦 . Leisure is an ‘evil’ distraction!!


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