Theme: DIGNITY OF LABOUR
The Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines “Dignity” as “the quality or state of being worthy, honoured, or esteemed”. “Labour” is defined in the same Dictionary as “expenditure of physical or mental effort; human activities that produce the goods or services in an economy; services performed by workers for wages…”
Dilating on the concept: “Dignity of labour,” the Wikipedia states: “The dignity of Labour is the philosophy that all types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior and none of the job should be discriminated against on any basis.
One of the causes of the present problem of large scale educated unemployment is the spirit of aversion to manual labour. It is better being employed in menial jobs or to perform any lawful manual or physical labour than remaining idle in the face of scarcity of jobs. Moreover, becoming an entrepreneur as to create lawful occupation or career and doing it with interest, commitment, fervency, diligence and above all, with utmost self-respect and dignity produces lasting benefit to the individual, families, the community and the society at large. As we take time to consider this subject in the light of the Holy Scriptures in the days ahead, we will appreciate the fact that Dignity of labour is a source of strength of personal character born out of independence, self-reliance and worth by the grace of God.
Text: “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” – Proverbs 14:23
Comment: All forms of work, manual or intellectual, is called labour. A clerk works in the office; a teacher teaches at school; a doctor practices medicine; a lawyer practices law. The works of these educated people are mainly brain work. A cultivator (farmer) works in the field; a miner works in the mine; an artisan works in a factory. The work of these set of people require bodily exertion. And because their works are as respectable, profitable or beneficial as the works of the clerk, the doctor and the lawyer, they equally have the cloak of the dignity of labour.
The material prosperity of a country depends on the progress of its agriculture, industry and trade, hence manual labour should be given a pride of place and encouraged among the citizenry. It could be recalled that when a severe famine covered the whole earth in ancient time, the timely labours of farmers came to the rescue in the days of Joseph in Egypt so that “all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands” – Genesis 41:53-57.
Honest manual or menial jobs should not be underrated since, as stated in today’s text, “In all labour there is profit”. One should not allow idle or discouraging talks to weaken one’s resolve to pursue honest labour to fend for oneself. Scriptures say: “Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3 (Living Bible).