Saying no to work

Tanya Medukha
2 min readJul 19, 2021


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When the present is no longer joyful, it is our our task to not seek joy or add it, but to say no to what blocks it.

In April 3.3 million workers left their jobs voluntarily, doubling the average quitting rate.

In May, to retaliate lobby groups persuaded 25 states to end unemployment benefits early. In June benefits started to end.

Yet, the workers have not returned.

In fact, the protests have gotten more powerful and more frequent.

A sign outside of Burger king in Lincoln, Nebraska reads:

Office workers are quitting rather than returning to the office.

It’s no mystery that a human being enjoys free time, flexibility, and being appreciated for their efforts.

Unfortunately for many, the work environment has gotten so toxic that not only leaving but no coming back despite significant financial hardships is the only sensible option.

What COVID really did is gave people back their time. It opened up space to slow down and to think about what actually matters.

Working for somebody else doesn’t matter.

Each and everyone one of us is capable of fulfilling our own needs, of creating our own happiness. We were born with this divine knowledge and we were given resources on this earth to live abundantly.

When given time to rebalance one sees that there is no virtue in constant strive.

That happiness arises out of a correct relationships with our environment and with people we love the most.

I had high hopes when COVID hit. I thought it would bring us closer towards Universal Basic Income, student loan debt forgiveness, or at least national health coverage that is not tied to employment.

While the last two were Biden’s promises, they were abandoned within his first 100 days. My days of getting caught in politics are long gone. Now I look at structural issues. The government has issued trillions in funds secured by nothing as a loan for all of us to work back towards paying.

8.4 million jobs remain vacant. People are not paying.

Change is not hard. It doesn’t require enlightening realizations, or brilliant plans. I just requires saying no. And then sticking to it.