Dignity of Labour
Ever since the man appeared on this Earth he has been labouring hard to keep himself alive. He digs drives and drags, tills the soil, works at the mill and does a lot of other things to keep his body and soul together. He may find his work hard, unpleasant but there is no escape from it. Life and labour are inseparable.
When life was simple and society less complex, the high and the low had to do normal work as a matter of course. But it is no longer so. The indignity attached to manual work is the outcome of the division of labour. The complex nature of the modern society and the introduction of machinery have helped to perpetuate and increase this sense of indignity. It is only when some works are reserved for a few while the rest are given to the common man that the distinction arises. It is only when some men grow rich, powerful and important and finds manual work too hard for them, that they set it apart for the common people. These people in due course of time come to be regarded as inferior. Later, the relation of master and servants is established.
It is a sad state of affairs. For the foundation of all good works there must be joy and sense of honour. We can never do a work well if we are constantly reminded that the work we are doing is mean and humiliating. We must be convinced that the work is useful and honourable. We must feel joy in doing it. So men, who are engaged in manual labour, must be made to feel the worth of their work and the joy and honour to be derived from it. On manual labour depends the life of the world. Who can deny dignity to that kind of labour which feeds and clothes the mankind, does harm to nobody and is as old as human existence? And there is no logic in looking down upon those who are engaged in such a work. Older than all the preached gospels of the world is the ever enduring gospel, “Work is Worship”.