CHAPTER 9 The Trap of the Rat Race

Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?

—Bob Marley

What do we mean by the term rat race? Presumably the saying comes from the image of rats running around in circles inside glass cabinets in laboratories, going nowhere, with no chance of escaping. But we can also liken the kind of person who is simply hungry for an existence, rather than a life, to a rat.

A race it certainly is: It's a race to get as much money as possible, to accumulate and hoard, always striving to have more than the next rat. The endless pursuit of money for its own sake is not a satisfying pastime by anyone's standards, but we are often taught that it is of utmost importance. Furthermore, we are taught that there is only one way to achieve it: to work hard at school, get our higher education, get a qualification, get a job, keep that job (accepting whatever we can get paid for it), buy a property to live in and raise a family in, and keep working until the day we retire when (fingers crossed) our state and private pensions will be enough for us to live on. We must never step off this path; if we do, we risk failure and destitution.

We are worse than rats: We are brainwashed rats!

Countless people get up on Monday morning already looking forward to Saturday; they go back to work in January longing for the next December. They are literally wishing their lives away, caught in a trap where their jobs control them, own their time, and give ...

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