A Case for Ditching the Career to Embrace 'Lying Flat'

Cassady Rosenblum writes about the movement in essay for 'NYT'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2021 1:45 PM CDT
A Case for Ditching the Career to Embrace 'Lying Flat'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/SIphotography)

"Work has become intolerable. Rest is resistance." That's the message of the "lying flat" movement that kicked off in China in April and is now starting to take hold globally as a pushback against the 24/7 hamster wheel of capitalism, detailed in Cassady Rosenblum's op-ed for the New York Times. In her piece entitled "Work Is a False Idol," Rosenblum notes she recently ditched her NPR producer job to hunker down with her parents in West Virginia, following the trend of Chinese millennials who of late have chosen slower lifestyles to buck what she calls "China's hypercompetitive middle-class culture." In her own new life, Rosenblum notes the "silence of her days," which has allowed her more reflection on a world "on fire."

"From my view down here on the carpet, I see a system that, even if it bounces back to 'normal,' I have no interest in rejoining, a system that is beginning to come undone," she writes. She concedes "there is immense privilege in lying flat," though she clarifies she's not advocating for people to simply ditch all efforts at making a living—it's immersing oneself into a time-sucking "career" at the expense of practically everything else that's problematic. "While jobs are sustenance, careers are altars upon which all else is sacrificed," she writes. As for herself, Rosenblum answers a question posed by poet Mary Oliver, who asks, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do/with your one wild and precious life?" Per Rosenblum, "my reply, for now, is simple: Sit on the porch." Read the full essay. (More workers stories.)

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