What people do

The things people do for money. And then, things people do for other reasons.

We all need money, but the ways we choose to scrape together a little capital, differ. Some people produce things and sell it to other people; some contribute to the production of items sold by others. Other people buy things in one place and then sell it at a different place at a profit. Some people build or design houses and other buildings; design or build bridges, dams, roads and other infrastructure; decorate other people’s homes; cut hair; clean homes and other buildings; travel into outer space; teach other people things they did not know; study various topics and then get paid for their studies; fly planes between cities and countries; sail ships and boats on rivers, lakes, and/or the world’s oceans; sell products on behalf of other people or businesses; rule over millions of people; provide administrative services to businesses, institutions, or the government; search for and arrest criminals; defend criminals and sometimes innocent people in courts; provide other legal services to people; serve as judges in courts and make decisions regarding the guilt or innocence of people; watch over criminals in prisons; steal other people’s belongings and then sell it for cash or barter for something else and then sell that item for cash; kill some people for a fee; lead or serve in an army or other militaristic organizations in defence of a nation or region; serve as mercenaries in conflict situations; listen to other people when they talk about their problems and try to give advice; serve as guides on tours; write stories or poems or essays or articles, and then sell what they have written – or try to sell it; translate stories or other material that other people have written; create audio-visual versions of stories; play musical instruments or sing for the entertainment of others; compose music or write songs and sell their work; regulate traffic; race cars, motorcycles, trucks, boats or any other machine-powered vehicles or vessels in competition with other people; play other sports on a professional level in competition with other athletes; calculate the income and expenditure of individuals or businesses to convince the authorities that the people do honest business; advise others on how to make money; receive money from individuals or businesses on behalf of the government; receive money from individuals or businesses on behalf of criminal organizations; entertain others by telling jokes or stories, or by acting in circuses, or by portraying characters in movies or plays; repair things that are broken; prepare food and drinks for other people to enjoy; serve food and drinks to other people; ensure the smooth running of a business or organization on behalf of other people or the government; market other people, products or businesses; provide sexual services to mostly men; dance naked or half naked for the pleasure of fully dressed men and sometimes women; provide a wide range of services to other people or businesses in the name of other businesses or the government; deliver mail; take pictures and sell copies of them; develop pictures for other people; provide information through mass communication media; provide information in covert ways; investigate other people or events and report their findings for a fee; provide health services to people; paint houses or other buildings; design gardens or other landscapes, or keep gardens or other landscapes in fair condition; design materials that will attract people’s attention for commercial or other purposes; sell their organs, sperm, or safe amounts of blood; undergo medical tests for compensation; care or protect fauna and/or flora; act as mediators between parties with conflicting agendas; offer their specialized services or expertise to people on a freelance basis; negotiate the release of hostages; take people hostage or kidnap people and release them for large amounts of money; design products that will be manufactured by other people; breed livestock or cultivate vegetables or fruit to sell at markets or at roadside stalls; extinguish fires; provide health services to animals; hunt animals or fish or other sea creatures and sell what they have killed or captured; act as coaches of athletes in preparation for competition, or animals in preparation for entertainment activities; take stuff people don’t want anymore as well as plastic wrappings and waste paper and empty bottles and rotten food and so on from residential areas to designated areas outside the town or city; cultivate flowers and/or trees and sell them; forge documents or produce counterfeit copies of other valuable items; act as interpreters between speakers of different languages; repair houses or other buildings, or old cars or furniture, and sell what they have restored; transport sick or injured people to hospitals or clinics; care for the sick or elderly; care for toddlers or young children for short periods during the day or sometimes in the evening; manage other people’s households; provide labour to farmers; build, tar, or maintain roads; or transport goods and/or people per truck or train from one place to another. And some people spend their days selecting material written by other people so that it can finally be published and sold at a profit.

People also spend time on other things, but for reasons other than monetary compensation. They collect stamps; plant trees or flowers; mow the lawn; paint their houses; compose music; or they write journals, diaries, letters, and other private pieces of literature not intended for commercial publication. People also read books, newspapers and other publications; they watch movies; play golf or tennis or soccer or any of dozens of other sports; drive around in their cars or on their bicycles or motorcycles; sail boats; fly airplanes; go on outings; copulate with a second party (and sometimes a third party during the same session); watch TV; clean the house; take photos; care for loved ones; spend time and money on charity; help people in need; fix things that are broken; renovate a house, old furniture, or old cars for personal use; play video or computer games; go swimming; go on picnics; do physical exercise; make model airplanes, boats or cars; do carpentry; do puzzles; learn to speak other languages; play musical instruments; sing songs (alone or with others); care for pets; decorate homes; cook food; visit friends or relatives; steal food or other items for personal use or consumption; cause physical and/or mental harm to others; use illegal drugs; drink dangerous amounts of alcohol; dance, alone or with others; listen to music; go shopping; go out with friends; attend live music or other artistic performances; make clothes; make home videos; get married and have children; race with other people in cars or on bicycles or motorcycles; play card or board games; spend hours browsing the Internet; travel to other countries; visit museums, art galleries or other places of interest; attend religious gatherings; smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products; listen to what others have to say about their problems; discuss their own problems with other people; argue or debate contentious points; shower or take baths; sleep or take naps; get dressed, shave, brush teeth, or do other things for personal hygiene; listen to the radio; walk in circles; do window shopping; tell jokes; collect material possessions; brag about themselves; become involved in physical altercations; attend sport events; start extramarital affairs; buy presents for other people; hold birthday parties; celebrate Christmas and/or other religious festivals; organize and take part in mass demonstrations and protests; vandalize buildings and/or other infrastructure; torture animals or other people; go to the beach and lie in the sun to change the colour of their skin; go fishing; go crazy and end up in mental institutions; do puppetry; spread disease; fall in love; stalk other people; study human behaviour from a distance; teach their children manners; tell lies; participate in school or community plays; defend their property and fellow citizens from others who want to destroy, damage or do harm; wash their cars; do their laundry; wash dishes; pray or meditate; worship other people, idols, or a religious entity; sweep dust and dirt from their homes; pick up litter; kill spiders and other insects in their homes; prepare drinks or other beverages for themselves and/or family and friends; set buildings or other property on fire; go camping; scare children or other people; stare at the sunrise or sunset; stare at the clouds and imagine seeing shapes; think about the meaning of life; think about the possible reason for their existence; make phone calls to friends or family (perhaps to find out if they know the meaning of life); catch butterflies; go to the zoo to stare at other animals; think of things that can make their lives easier; cover their faces with powder and/or other makeup; kiss other people; embrace and hold hands; make fools of themselves for the amusement of others; learn martial arts; loathe themselves; criticize others; collect photos of themselves and friends and family and arrange them in photo albums; tell stories about their own lives, the lives of people they know, or events and incidents which other people had told them about; fantasize about people with whom they are not currently intimately involved; daydream about what they’ll do if they win the British Lottery; rearrange their furniture; dictate wills to attorneys; spend time in homes for elderly people; play bridge every Thursday; go ten-pin bowling every Friday; browse through books in bookstores; borrow books from libraries; paint or draw pictures; compile what-to-do-lists; worry about the future; redo sofa chairs and couches; sing in the shower; get divorced; go to jail; run away from home; take part in social or political revolutions; or take the wrong turn and never look back. And some people, remarkable as it may seem, do absolutely nothing.