Dignity of labor

The word labor means manual work that is done with hands. In ancient times manual labor was looked down upon.  It was disgraceful for a person to be a mason, a carpenter or a mechanic. A laborer thus was a victim of mockery and disrespect.

Importance of Laborers:
According to a common belief, God sends everyone in this world with two hands to serve others and earn one’s own livelihood. He expects everyone to work hard and contribute to the progress of the country and the well-being of others. And this demands labor. A laborious man is honest and persevering. He lives a hard life, earns very little money. However, he has his head held high, for he owes no one anything. He may not be rich and may be forced to struggle each day to survive, but he is a real hero in the battle of life. Contentment and satisfaction are assured for him. Abraham Lincoln, the famous U.S. President, commented that if God did not want us to work, he would have given us no hands. Truly, it is only through toil and sweat that man can get things done. We would have no food, if farmers did not work hard in sun and in shower.

Value of Labor:
Without hard work one can never succeed. Hence, we should never look down upon a laborer, or express disgust at someone’s job. Many people wrongfully shy away from helping others merely because they consider the job below their dignity. There is no disgrace in helping a teacher to carry books, or lifting a load for a laborer or helping a blind man cross the road, or playing with a weeping child to keep him in good humor. No work is inferior and so is no person. Having servants at home should not prevent us from performing simple tasks, or from treating them with dignity. There is false pride in believing that laborers are to be despised upon and that work is only for the unfortunate. Work, whatever its kind may be  is worthy of praise and credit.

 A beggar who goes from door-to-door begging alms has to face scorn and listen to filthy language only because he avoids doing manual work. Manual work is in no way inferior to mental work. Monuments, forts and historical buildings were built by people who were adept in manual labor. They worked miracles with their hands. When mind and hands combine together, the results are really outstanding. 

We must learn that honest work of all types is dignified and worthy of respect. Even the humble sweeper who does unpleasant task is worthy of respect from the society. The only thing we should be ashamed of is idleness.

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