We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There is great risk in that life plan. I often remind people that being put out to pasture is a quite modern invention. Originally an ideal of European Socialists, in the US it did not become a plausible plan until the Depression when it seemed politically useful to take "mature" adults - "seasoned citizens" - out of the labor force to reduce unemployment.
I have never understood what is so ideal about being unproductive and useless with a life of recreation, errand-running, and lawn-mowing. In my experience, people thrive on productivity and responsbility (while bitching about it of course) and frequently decay without it. If Heaven entails floating around blissfully on clouds all day, I have no interest in it. Anybody who wants that can have it today. It's called heroin.
Still, people pursue a degree of economic security, because constant worry is no fun. Except for the most ambitious and talent-driven, it seems to me that most people will be as resourceful as they need to be to try to construct whatever life they desire. I just hate to see people seduced by phoney pop-cultural dreams of lying in the hammock or farting into the sofa for 25 years.
Works for people like you. My uncle, who worked construction in all kinds of weather for fifty years deserves his rest. My neighbor who worked hard to raise five kids, in a career he didn't really enjoy, deserves retirement so he can do volunteer work and raise a garden like he always wanted to. Lots of people had harder lives and more physically demanding lines of work than law partner.
But, Ed, isn't the point that people need 'work' to do, even if it is gardening and volunteering? Even in retirement, it is not as if human beings really enjoy sitting around, having no purpose. That, I think, is what was meant by the 'productivity and responsibility' part of the post.
I don't think he meant that someone should keep working at a physically demanding job or a career one does not enjoy.
Even my parents, who have been retired for awhile now, enjoy the jobs they give themselves at home...whether it be gardening, volunteering to teach Sunday School, or something else. These are all productive endeavors that require some amount of responsibility.
--for example, say you want to set an example for the kiddos, but they are all beyond your limitations for any exhibition of excellence. In that case, you have to set a 'negative' example --and truth is, farting into the sofa for 25 years would without any doubt whatsoever be an astute (or ass-toot) selection.
Barrister, you've often posted this way of thinking. I think you underestimate the ability of people to find excellent ways of spending their time outside their profession. It's not as though there were a stark choice between practicing law 80 hours a week (done that, thanks) or farting into the couch. In the last twelve years I've had zero trouble filling my days; in fact, they aren't long enough.