Inspirational Living: Life Lessons for Success & Happiness

Inspiration & Motivation for Work | The Dignity of Labor

May 14, 2019

Listen to episode 370 of the Inspirational Living Podcast: The Dignity & Power of Honest Work. Edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T.L. Haines and L.W. Yaggy.

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Today’s reading was edited and adapted from The Royal Path of Life by T. L. Haines and L. W. Yaggy, published in 1882.

There is dignity in labor — in toil of the hand as well as toil of the head — in toil to provide for the bodily wants of an individual life, as well as in toil to promote some enterprise of world-wide fame. All labor that tends to supply our wants, to increase our happiness, to elevate our nature (in a word, all labor that is honest) is honorable too.

Labor clears the forest, and drains the swamp, and makes "the wilderness rejoice and blossom as a rose." Labor drives the plow, scatters the seeds, reaps the harvest, grinds the corn, and converts it into bread, the staff of life.

Labor provides daily sustenance to the thousand millions of the human family. Labor gathers the gossamer web of the caterpillar, the cotton from the field, and the fleece from the flock, and weaves it into raiment soft, warm, and beautiful —the purple robe of royalty and the gray gown of the peasant being alike in its handiwork.

Labor molds the brick, splits the slate, quarries the stone, shapes the column, and rears not only the humble cottage, but the gorgeous palace, the tapering spire, and the stately dome. Labor (diving deep into the solid earth) brings up its long-hidden stores of coal to feed ten thousand furnaces, and power the electricity of millions of homes.

Labor explores the rich veins of deeply-buried rocks, extracting the gold and silver, the copper and tin. Labor smelts the iron, and molds it into a thousand shapes for use and ornament — from the massive pillar to the tiniest needle, from the ponderous anchor to the wire gauze, from the mighty fly-wheel of the steam-engine to the polished ring on the finger.