Buckminster Fuller: (Don’t) Get a Job, Young One!

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 1, 2011
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Want a job?

A post inspired by the man, the legend Bucky Fuller (for videos, click over to this more thorough writeup, which inspired this post).

Don’t serve a useful function in society, yet? Well, getting a 10 buck an hour job moving things from here to there may not train you to serve the greater good. From Buckminster Fuller, a quote that will take your ma n’pa a day or two to rebut:

We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living.

It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors.

The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.

~ Buckminster Fuller


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


8 Responses to “Buckminster Fuller: (Don’t) Get a Job, Young One!”

  1. Yes! High five. "“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman

  2. Sorry to be a curmudgeon, but this is utter nonsense. When my kids were growing up, they used to ask me how people could do all the difficult jobs society depends on to function. I replied:

    Every job is somebody's dream job.

    Your blog seems desperately out of touch with reality, especially when so many people, even in the relatively super-rich U.S., are out of work, being evicted from their homes and having trouble supporting their families. Even drudgery is an exalted activity in support of survival and the betterment of one's children.

    Bob W.

  3. Carol Horton says:

    "Even drudgery is an exalted activity in support of survival and the betterment of one's children." Have to say that I applaud that old-fashioned idea, Bob.

    Saying that we could arrange the world so that lots of people don't have to have jobs may be true in some very abstract sense – but it's like saying that if we arranged the world the right way, we could have perpetual peace. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen.

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Good points!

    In Buddhism there's the idea of "natural hierarchy"—that any job can be dignified, if executed by someone who loves doing it. I've gone through all of the above—nearly lost my blahahahahahbllah, lost my income—and I've continue to work at what I'm good at. Which is not a job for job's sake. And it's working, no pun intended. ~ W

  5. Shunyata Kharg says:

    Also sorry to be a curmudgeon, Bob, but I must say that your phrase "every job is somebody's dream job" seems desperately out of touch with reality, especially given that it directly contradicts your admission that some jobs are drudgery.

    What is reality is just a consensus of opinion. Things do not have to be the way they are. Maybe not all of us can see through the habits engendered in our minds by twenty years of schooling. As Krisnamurti said, "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." These are the kinds of things I say to my four children as they grow up 🙂

  6. Kevin says:

    Of course, everybody has to earn a living. Unless you have inherited wealth, the money you use to pay for things like food, clothing, and shelter has to come from somewhere—e.g., a job, earnings from investments, royalties from intellectual property, etc. Money does not appear out of nowhere for no reason.