Work is Worship
The Dignity of Labour
Essay No. 01
Work is essential for man. It is a blessing. It is one of the precious privileges he has. It is the source of all other rights. It brings him the good things of life and promotes his well-being. Work is an integral part of life. Without it life is deprived of its substance and character.
Works gives us happiness. It banishes vice and poverty from life. Work, according to Carlyle, is the grand cure of all the maladies that beset ‘mankind. It is the key to all progress. Work is life, idleness is death.
The prosperity of any nation depends on the work of the people there. If they remain like lotus-eaters, no nation can progress or achieve anything remarkable. The prosperity achieved by nations like Japan and Israel bears this out. No pain, no gain.
All kinds of work deserve our respect. But there are a number of people who consider some kinds of work ignoble and inferior. The work of farmers is much more important than that of teachers. The-reason is that if the farmers do not work, we shall not get any food-stuff. If street-cleaners do not work, life in cities and towns will prove difficult. “It does not disgrace a gentleman,” says Ruskin, “to become an errand boy or a day labourer, but it disgraces him much to become a knave and a thief.
For Carlyle, work is worship. According to him, there is perennial nobleness and even sacredness in work. To work is to pray. The worker is the saviour of society; the redeemer of the race. Tagore says God is the tiller of the hard ground and the path-maker. “He is with them in sun and in shower and his garment is covered with dust”. The best form of worship, according to Gurudev, is to work and serve others.
Several eminent men have recognized the dignity of all work. Spinoza, a famous philosopher on the Continent, earned his livelihood by grinding and polishing the lenses for spectacles, telescopes and microscopes. Francis Thomson, famous English poet, kept body and soul together by-selling matches and polishing shoes. He preferred doing some work to begging. Tolstoy saw the greatest satisfaction of existence in merging with the peasantry. He ploughed the soil and made boots. Gandhiji, the greatest Indian of the twentieth century, even worked as a scavenger. We, small fry, are averse to doing any work that we consider below our dignity.
It is necessary for our young men and women to recognition the dignity of labour. Most prefer white-collar jobs to manual labour. Parents should inculcate in the minds of their children the dignity of labour. Manual work, according to Gandhiji, gives an opportunity to all who wish to take part in the government and the well-being of the state. We should look up to the worker who earns his livelihood by the sweat of his brow.
Essay No. 02
Work is Worship
Man was sent by God to the world to do work. The message of work is also found in Gita. It tells the man to perform his duty and leave the result to God. Work is the supreme message of Gita. It is an evidence of history that all great men of the world have reached that height due to hard work. The world is grateful to them for their work. Jawaharlal Nehru stressed the importance of work in all his writings and actions. He said that the centres of worship should be those which are monuments of work. He called the mighty dams and power projects the temples of the modern age. A man who is engaged in work cannot think evil. On the other hand an empty mind is a devil’s workshop. When a man is engaged in work, his mind is fully occupied. He also thinks regarding the quality of his work and tries to improve it. He strives for more output. He takes pride in his contribution to the society. All inventions and discoveries are the results of work Honest devotion of work is true worship. Work is the greatest worship in the world.