Should You Keep Working if the World’s Falling Apart?

The U.S. has been through some dark times before, to be sure. The Kennedy assassination, tear gas at protests, the Great Inflation, 9/11, the Financial Crisis of 2008, etc. But maybe it doesn’t feel as dark to us now because, well, it’s all too far-removed from our day-to-day at this point. But surely, during all these moments in history, just as now, there was an overwhelming sense of “What’s the point?” Especially with regard to working.

Because it feels like the proverbial last days of disco as January 20th approaches, the office worker in particular possesses a more specific sense of futility than usual. Sitting there in his or her cubicle reading news headlines about imminent environmental destruction, re-appropriation of wealth and golden showers while pretending to work isn’t doing much to help. And it can leave plenty of room for the mind to wander to that inevitable query: Why should I keep working if the world is about to fall apart? Clamming up like Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites to answer the question, you might ultimately come up with: Well, there isn’t. But I’ma still go to work though. The invisible hand that motivates us to do things we hate is almost as invisible as Trump’s own tiny fist.