The Great Resignation is a recent term used to describe the somewhat* surprising overall reluctance of ‘people’ to go back to work. Economists are trying to figure it out. Why is there a labour shortage all of a sudden? (* it is not surprising to me)
A lot of surmising and guessing have postulated a few theories such as ‘Covid burnout’, too generous unemployment/pandemic benefits and the like. But those are short term influences. I think it is a bit deeper in the bone than that. I think there has been a measurable perspective or paradigm shift and a catalyzing moment that rocked the status quo thinking.
In other words, there are a lot of pressures out there and they have, over time, created a mountain of ennui and despair amongst the vast majority of people. Then we hit a tipping point for that slag-heap resulting in lack of commitment to the system, to work, to the establishment, institutions and especially government. We have collectively maybe* lost the faith? (*as you know, I have definitely lost faith in the system – it is unsustainable at the very least)
The buildup of this fuel-for-depression has been ongoing since maybe the 1950’s? And maybe Vietnam was the first match thrown….? You know? The hippy anti-establishment movement that eventually petered out? Anti-materialism that morphed to ‘greed is good’?
Oddly, I think Trump (corrupt, lying, rich pig succeeding) was the first match lit that caught fire in this era, Covid was like oxygen on the flame and the immense, aging, hoary, rotten ‘system’ is the fuel source. Those three elements combined with the steadily encroaching climate threat, emergence of China as an enemy and, oddly, the simple aging of the baby boomers and we now have the perfect storm. A perfect storm of confusion, antipathy and fear?
No one wants to venture outside anymore. And, if we do, we want to venture really far and by ourselves outside into nature and not go to the office or the shopping mall.
The Great Resignation may just be the Great Awakening……?
I have had a good work ethic, eventually morphing into a typical work ethic and finally I achieved a GET OUT ethic. I have been a good worker bee, drone and I still do stuff. I write and carry heavy things for instance. Build sheds. But I checked out of the establishment mentally and spiritually 20-something years ago and physically 18 years ago. And I had been suspicious of the system for a long time. I like to contribute to my community and friends but I’d prefer to do it on my own terms and, fortunately, being well paid for it is not important. I work out of interest not acquisition.
But I bring all that up (about me) because I did not want to ‘go to work again’ and my financial situation did not determine my decisions. I simply and quietly resigned (easy to do if you work for yourself). I quit the rat race. But, oddly, I also experienced an awakening, an epiphany, a paradigm shift. I learned to love nature. I now love the forest and the sea way more than anything societal. I do not need a bigger TV or a newer car. I do not like restaurants or canned entertainment. I don’t like anything about the city. I have changed.
The point is: I changed early but I think it is the same kind of change that the Great Resignees are feeling today. I think the Great Resignation is the Great Awakening and, even tho we will still have to work to consume, the rat race will be slower, the merry-go-round much easier to get on and off of and the ladder of success will become a step-stool.
Well, let me re-phrase that: those lifestyle choices will be chosen and forced on us if we are going to survive.