Dignity of Labour
Essay No. 01
The dignity of labour means respect and value given to all forms of work. It refers to equal respect for the jobs that involve manual labour. In earlier times, daily several slaves were bought and sold openly in the markets. They lost their dignity and performed all sorts of hard and laborious works. Today, we are living in an independent and democratic age. It has been realized by most of the people that all forms of labour contribute to the welfare and development of society. The labourers through trade unions and different groups have gained success in attaining a recognized position in society.
When we talk about basic rights, the working class do not enjoy that respect which is enjoyed by business executives, white-collared people and merchants. Many learned people do not appreciate and practice. the principle of dignity of labour. They prefer high profile jobs. For example, a science graduate, who is the son of a wealthy farmer, would like to take up any job in a nearby city rather than to follow his father’s occupation. Thus, it is not wise to look down upon manual labour.
Manual labour is extremely important and necessary for the smooth functioning in society. Although today most of the work in industries and factories is done by machines, production can be paused without the manual assistance of the workers. Lakhs of labourers work imines, agricultural sectors, construction fields and industries. Although they work with the help of machines, it is their duty to operate and maintain the machines. Invention and introduction of machinery have given rise to a new class of industrial workers. If the workers slow or stop the manufacturing of the essential goods even for a few days than the entire nation can suffer a severe setback. Thus, it is our main duty to show them respect and offer dignity.
In many western countries, the dignity of labour is recognized. Young people do not mind in earning money by doing pan-time work as food delivery boy or waiters at the restaurant. Much of the domestic work like cooking food and washing clothes is done by the members of the family. However, in countries like India, domestic servants are scarce and their demands for wages are very high. Many middle-class families pay more to servants to maintain their prestige in society.
A sense of dignity of labour should be conveyed to students in schools and colleges. They should be encouraged to participate in various kinds of programmes. If their minds are cleared of the view that none of the works is undignified and humiliating, the problem of unemployment will be solved to some extent.
Essay No. 02
Dignity of Labour
A domestic help- she cleans, she washes, she even runs house errands but at the end of the day, she is yelled at for leaving a small little mark on the otherwise clean floor. Lenin founded Communism. Mark came up with the idea of socialism. But in a democracy like India, people have the right to do what they want, right? They can treat people of so-called lower stature in any which way.
An honest days work does not earn a person respect. And not much money either. So in the modern-day and age money earns respect, not the job you do. A mechanic, a domestic help, a driver cannot walk with their heads held high. Even though they work an equal amount of time (sometimes even more), they are looked down upon.
Who decides which work is better? Who decides which form of work deserves respect? Shouldn’t an honest and decent job be enough? But it’s not the case. Dignity of labor is a thing of the past, seems as though it never even existed. The definition of the dignity of labor is no work should be looked on upon. No one should be treated with any less respect just because of the work they do.
In a democratic system, the rights of the people are protected. Everyone is equal in the eyes of law, the government, and the country. But no one is equal in each other’s eyes. Of late the present environment of the society, the dignity of labor is considered one of the major topics dealing with laborers. The ongoing debate on this topic has reached its peak with people coming to know about their rights. Society has come to terms with the act that every job performed by a laborer is a tough one. Also, it has understood that he is specialized in these jobs and these jobs are an integral part of the functioning of society. These jobs might be considered menial but think about it. Will you get up and wash the utensils every day? Will you wash your car?
The answer to all of the above is that we have to respect every form of work and thus the solution to all of this is Dignity of Labor. Respect people who work, as this will help not only increase employment but also provide the basis for a healthy society.
Essay No. 03
Dignity of Labour
Nature provides us everything we need, but not in usable forms. With our various activities like agriculture, trade, industry, and learning, we transform the gifts given to us by the Almighty into products useful to us. As a common feature of all these activities, labour in one form or another is an important factor that makes such transformation possible. It is, in fact, the key factor to our very existence. The variety labour matches a variety of our needs. Therefore, each form of labour is important to us in its own way while few people among us work the iron is in nature to make steel, which builds our industries, some others generate power from water, coal or oil, to run them. If another group tills the land to raise crops, yet another transforms them into vital food. It is such distribution of labour among ourselves that helps us survive. We cannot imagine what our lives would be like. If we were unwilling to work or unprepared to engage in different occupations.
Life is a struggle; one must fight the battle of life valiantly. Everybody who takes birth has to die one day. Therefore, one should make the best of life. Time at our disposal is very short. We must make the best use of every minute given to us by God. Life consists of action, not contemplation. Those who do not act, but go on hesitating and postponing things, achieve nothing in life. Such persons as going on thinking and brooding can never attain the height of glory.
A short life full of action is much better than a long life of inactivity and indolence. Tennyson has rightly remarked that one crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name. A man lives in deeds, not in years. Age or longevity does not matter. What matters is what one makes of life. Ben Jonson, the scholar-poet writes :
“It is not growing big in bulk like a tree Doth make man better be.”
Life is not an idle dream. Every beat of our heart is taking us nearer to our death. We must not lose any time in crying over the past or worrying about the present. H.W. Longfellow writes in his ‘Psalm of life’ :
“Trust no future, however pleasant; Let the dead past bury its dead Act, act in the living present Heart within, and God overhead.”
Though originally all occupations that were necessary and useful to humanity were encouraged and respected. However, as time passed some prejudices developed against certain occupations especially against those occupations that were relatively unimportant or unpleasant, and those that involved more physical effort than the others, were discriminated against. This tendency, along with the practice of deciding the social status of people, on the basis of their occupations, created unrest in society. Thus before long, the concept of distribution of labour, so essential for the health of society, ended up as its main bane. The unfortunate consequences of the distribution of labour and the deep-rooted prejudices against certain occupations were the main causes of casteism and untouchability, which have been plugging the Indian society for centuries. Through the efforts of many philanthropists and social reformers, who upheld the dignity of labour and restored respect for occupations, much of the prejudices have been eliminated.
However, much more needs to be done before we can realize the ideals of egalitarianism and social amity. Modern education, which helped change the outlook of people, was another factor that revived the dignity of labour. The life of Mahatma Gandhi is a typical example of the contribution of modern education in revolutionizing living. Though Gandhiji was born in a traditional, orthodox Hindu family and had a career as a successful lawyer the exposure he had to the outside world, earned him respect for all types of occupations. Gandhiji’s example is all the more important, because, unlike most others, he practiced the virtues of labour that he preached. It was his practice of cleaning his toilet, which was normally the job or scavengers, that ensured a sense of dignity for that job. He willingly did menial jobs on the farm, and while in jail, learned to cobble shoes. He virtually glamorized the occupation of spinning to the extent, that people of all classes and castes adopted the practice in their lives. Gandhiji’s identical respect for all occupations and his willingness to do or learn all manners of work, helped him establish self-sustaining communities, in India and South Africa. To this day the members of these communities honour the dignity of the labour and do all their work themselves, with no dependence of any kind on others. Thus, respect for labour and ensuring its dignity, give us a sense of independence. If nourished in all the members of community property and that too at the proper stage of life, the dignity of labour will help foster healthy relationships among them, thereby contributing to the strength of the community.