As we celebrate Labour day (May day or International Workers day) today, it is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of workers. Definitely it speaks of the dignity of the labour/work. Fr Johnson would say, work is the primary way of one’s worldly and bodily existence. Humans create through the work; the nature is given a refining touch (this is doubtful in terms of some of our work). One’s work is the pointer to the type of person one is.
With caste-class dynamics and the industrial-scientific revolution, a world order was being created where some works are privileged or more dignified. The next step of this journey was considering the people doing dignified work as dignified individuals. Thus a software engineer’s work is considered more dignified than that of a farmer. (I can live without software, but not without food). But our society (and deep within each one of us, to a greater or lesser extend) can’t differentiate between diversity and dignity of work.
Thus any work which gives a refining touch to the nature is dignified; undignified work would be the ones which promote environmental degradation, inequality and the greed of a few individuals. Thus any labour day is an invitation
- To provide decent wages for the employers, so that they can live a dignified life.
- To stop discrimination/disrespect being shown based on their work.
- To become workers who fulfill the role of caretakers of the creation.