Being Ill in the Western World

I have a terrible cold.

I tell you that not to complain or call undue attention to my personal life but rather as the exigence of my dilemma: to take off or not to take off.

Workers get paid for their labor; the old aristocratic wealth of the world got paid for their existence (commissions, honors, shares, etc). I wonder if both mechanisms are wrong. What happens if your value cannot be assessed based on products and revenue? (Which, I assert, is all of us.) What if you think and speak and give love and benefit to those around you, but you can’t run a manufacturing mechanism? Better yet, what if you can run said mechanism and then you get sick one day? And then the one day becomes many?

Beyond all these aggravating questions that delve into the abysses of sociology, economics, philosophy, and more, how do you decide whether or not to call in sick? You could push yourself to the breaking point and go in…but it’d result in another week of prolonged illness as your body wearily drags itself back up on top. You want to be faithful to your responsibilities—and, let’s face it, shit doesn’t happen unless you make it happen—but can your responsibilities ever be faithful to you?

I am beginning to feel they are unfaithful lovers: exacting and demanding but quick to find another warm bed when yours goes cold.

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