Dignity of work — a relook

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

  1. To provide decent wages for the employers, so that they can live a dignified life.
  2. To stop discrimination/disrespect being shown based on their work.
  3. To become workers who fulfill the role of caretakers of the creation.
What is the meaning of refining the nature doesn’t have an answer which would be acceptable to all… So we leave that for another time or for you to think….

A Jesuit interested to think and write; Loves philosophy, spirituality, politics…. Believes in God & well-being of all humans… Open to difference & newness..

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