Many people are unhappy to do unmonetized work. And that’s fine. It’s your choice to only do work you’re paid for and to pay others to do your unpaid work. But some people definitely get defensive and even hostile when you mention your own decision to do unmonetized work.
Whether you’re a home-maker or a community gardener, whether you’re making your own bread or building your own furniture, someone always emerges with a critical eye. Often they just feel the need to counter your points with comments about how they couldn’t possibly do unmonetized work. But sometimes when you defend your choices the critics become hostile. It becomes clear that they’re for some reason unhappy with the fact you’re doing something for yourself.
Which, on the surface, isn’t very sensible. After all, if you don’t care when they hire a gardener or buy a pie, why should they care when you trim the hedge or bake a pie?
Well here are ten reasons why various types of person may feel insulted, cheated or ostracized by your choice to be self-sufficient.
The biggest one is a personal demon.
Some people are simply too greedy to do anything for free. They can’t see why anyone would or should do anything for free.
These people, deep down, see some benefits from self-sufficiency and know they have some time to put into unmonetized work. But they don’t want to.
And when they see someone work for free, it touches on a negative aspect of their own mentality. So they have to make you doubt yourself, make you admit that for them it would be impossible, anything to justify their own greed.
2: Import, value and sales taxes.
Governments have a vested interest in you not making anything on your own. When you start with simple goods the tax you pay on them is minimal. The real tax money is in luxuries.
When you make your own wine from foraged fruits, the government has no tax power over your drinks, they make no money on them. They would much rather you bought a bottle of wine at the store.
3: Power thirst.
Some people have an amount of control over you through the services they offer.
If the person presenting the critique is asking you to hire them, offering their services for cheap or for free, anything to stop you from doing the job yourself… then they enjoy having power over you.
4: Rat race.
For many everyday people, the concept of the rat race is a sort of comfort. The idea that everyone from the bottom to the top of the 99% is trapped. Nobody has a choice. Taxes are inevitable. You have no way out, even past retirement.
It can trigger a sort of envy and anxiety for some when they see that you can do your own work for free and cut costs that way.
5: Neediness and loneliness.
Similar to the power-hungry, the needy and lonely fear losing you. But they aren’t trying to manipulate you or control you. They simply fear that by changing your habits you are adopting a culture that’s too different to theirs.
These people want reassurance that they will be a part of your life even if you stop shopping for clothes and spend your evenings baking pies.
6: Products to sell.
Obviously, anyone with a finished product to sell doesn’t want you to make your own.
If someone is telling you about the dangers of home-canning or gardening, trying to dissuade you from cooking from scratch or ironing at home, then ask yourself whether they are selling the product you were trying to make.
7: Income taxes.
Of course, another way the government benefits from monetized work is income tax. When you earn money, you pay taxes on it. When you use that money to hire someone, they pay taxes on it. But if you do the work yourself then to tax money is paid on it.
Some friends and family may have concern for you if you choose to do unmonetized work. Whether it’s your only work or you also have another job, the fact that you’re dedicating hours to work that doesn’t involve money can make some people concerned for your retirement plans.
Sometimes this comes from a selfish place: they do not want to care for you. But often it just comes from confusion and concern.
If you’re doing unmonetized work then welfare becomes a hot topic.
On the one hand, if you’re not on welfare some people come to believe you are entitled to it and believe welfare would be a better option than self-sufficiency.
On the other hand, if you receive any welfare at all, other people will insist that you should spend your time working for money instead.
10: Crab bucket.
Ultimately, if you do unmonetized work you can’t be doing anything right.
We live in a culture where we are encouraged to use and consume, to earn and to spend. By stepping out of the money cycle in any aspect of your life you are defying our culture, our society.
And nobody wants their friends, their subordinates, their family or their coworkers to belong to a different society than them. Be it because of their job, their ideology or their personal demons, there are many crabs in the bucket that want to pull you back.
It’s up to you to decide what you will do.
TTFN and Happy Hunting!