Slavery has been an old-fashioned topic here in the United States. A tremendous amount of people, especially the colored races, suffered from this. I can still vividly recollect the gentleness I felt reading the famous anti-slavery novel <<Uncle Toms' Wooden Hut>>. How I wish the main characters can escape and find their happy life somewhere else. As society progress and people learning to fight for their own rights, slavery might have been evacuated, right? I doubt so. For me, it still exists in our daily life, but only in disguise.
A couple of weeks ago, the trainer from our German headquarters casually said," I don't know how to get to this customer system anymore, because I have a slave working for me on this project." This was half-way a joke. One of the colleagues replied," in US, we have a better name for it, we call it ' Assistant Project Manager'." Everybody laughed at this. Out of nowhere, I said," everybody is a slave to some extent." One of my colleagues who have heard me, responded with an exaggerating sound like I just revealed something that should not be realized.
However, I was being true to myself. And I do believe in the truth in this half-way joke. Doing things that you are unwilling to, is an indication of being a slave. Sometimes it is minor and it is ok to take that, however, when that becomes a norm of your life and you have to try very hard to live with it, then it is time to reconsider.
In my old lab at school, we were discouraged from taking time off to have fun, or to visit our family, as it is the motto of my boss never to stop hard-working. People admire him for that, taking no time off for almost ten years. And I understand his thought that if he did not stop, neither should his students. I understand, however, I choose not to justify that. Because it is unreasonable. To some extent, students were being slaved to alway working so that they can get paid, get papers published and get their boss satisfied. It was like this even in school, not to mention the professional environment. Yes, people claim to treat others equally and respectfully, if you are forced to do something against your will, then this respect itself, is just slavery in disguise.
During the labor day weekend, I visited the amish county with friends from WV. Amid the green farms, animals and the amish people with their old-fashioned lifestyle, we all longed to stay longer for more quiet experience, especially myself. Getting triggered by the scene of several amish ladies playing volleyball on this nice sunday afternoon, I really wanted to be one of them at least for that afternoon. However, I need to return for something. That's something I am unwilling to do, but beyond it, is something that I am looking forward to. That's why I guess that I can put up with this slavery experience a little bit longer.
Browsing the QQ zone status of old friends has become a habit through which I get some ideas of what is going on with their life.
A girl I've knew for over 2 years, since my first arrival in US, has returned to Shanghai after her graduation from UC in architecture design. She shared the details of her work life-always working over time, suffering from this but not daring to quit. "Switching jobs is not the solution since it will only be a temporary move from one hell to another, unless I change my specialty," she replied to my encouragement of ending this nightmare. “ Then change your specialty since it is still not too late." I responded with the only thing I can think of to make her life a little bit easier.
A boy I've knew from my undergraduate years, has been complaining a lot about his boring and annoying job for quite a while. Yesterday, suddenly, he posted a status that he has quitted. How happy am I seeing this status. You may be out of job for a while, however, making the choice to allow yourself enjoy life is always the wise choice. Of course not to spoil yourself. Enjoying life doesn't mean that you won't work hard to earn it. If work makes you happy, then you are enjoying life in the right way.
My countdown app is displaying 5 days until my trip to China. When I first had this app, it used to be 120 days and I was wondering how am I gonna stick to the end. Time passed by with my suffering from each day, each moment, extending to like a year. Luckily, my activities at HJ distracted me from the work.
Now I am finally seeing the hope ahead of me, despite the fact that next Tuesday I need to get up before 4am for a customer trip. That sucks, I know. However, just for the future ahead of me, I hope this is the last time.
What would life be in West Virginia? I am looking forward to that.
My friends, modern slavery is now in disguise. Design your own life and strive for your dream. Don't ever be a slave, even in disguise.