It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today another blog. Due to the fact that today is a National holiday, I felt it would be nice to have this blog center around Labor. There is no gainsaying this is a holiday to honor and celebrate the workforce of the country. To all those who have served and currently serve this wonderful country, this is to say thank you.
There are various arms of the society’s workforce that probably doesn’t get the appreciation they deserve and I hope today we all take some time out to just say thank you to these people. Say thank you to a Fire Man just because, say thank you to a Police officer just because, say thank you to the Military just because, say thank you to Doctors, Nurses, and first responders just because, say thank you to the farmers who grow our food just because ( we are actually very indebted to them), say thank you to as many Laborers as you can. That being said, I want to try as much as I can to link this day to the vital principle of service. In actuality without service, Man is nothing. My spiritual mentor’s teacher would say as a joke, “if you don’t serve God then you’ll serve dog“. Basically what he meant was; if a man doesn’t use his service propensity for something of higher principle then he’ll use it for things with lower tendencies.
Man and service are integrally woven, and to separate them is to put an end to Man. This is so important that it is exemplified when people are punished by the state for crimes. When a man commits an offense and he is locked away in prison, his freedom is taken away, but their need to serve is still kept. That is why in prisons inmates are allowed to work. In the case of a dangerous criminal who is locked away in solitary confinement, the idea is to take away not just freedom but their ability to be useful to themselves and others; basically the ability to serve. Labour is just a synonym for service. Another example we can get some insight from is the case of very wealthy Entrepreneurs who still work even though they do not need to. One may wonder why they do even though they have enough wealth to last a lifetime. The answer is simple; they have to serve.
We live in times however when people think or feel a certain type of job is “below them” or for a “laborer”. This idea and mindset has created a whole class system in some countries and the effects are quite detrimental. The beauty of Man is his ability to serve or to render labor, take that away from him and you strip him of his usefulness. Earning a living is not just about making money, it is also about being valued. How can one be of value if they render no service or offer no labor? Wonder why sometimes we crave to “get away” and “do nothing” and then barely two to three days in the “getaway” we start craving the need to go back to work?
This brings us naturally to another perspective of labor. Just before we go further, I’ll like to state that I have used the word service freely as a substitute for the word labor because it truly captures the essence of labor. If labor is rendered without the desire to serve, then it is egotistical. If labor is offered without the desire to serve then it doesn’t bring real satisfaction, this is why some “big entrepreneurs” feel the need to want to “give back” after so many years of making a profit. Giving back shouldn’t be something done because we now feel a vacuum from exploiting people and see that the wealth we have amassed has no real value if it doesn’t serve others. If our labor is with the intent to serve then it is in itself giving back. I should clarify that I am in no way against philanthropy or charity, I am however not a big fan of “guilt charity”.
No amount of “giving back” can fix exploitation. If a laborer has earned wealth at the expense of the health, sanity, peace and well being of others then giving back to sort of mitigating the guilt is just self-deceit. You might say but won’t it be better that he at least acknowledges the wrong and try to fix it? Sure! I am speaking from the standpoint of what true labor offering will mean to us as a society. Imagine a company that offers labor to society by engaging in production but dumps toxic waste in water bodies that people get water from. Diseases and even death can occur from such contamination due to labor that has been offered/given without proper consciousness, no amount of giving back can bring someone who is deformed or dead from such contaminations. This is my perspective.
Every society needs the laborer class and to think that we are above laborers is an illusion in itself. The society is compared to the human body and laborers are like its legs. No matter how beautiful or intelligent one is if he/she cannot move about with the assistance of their own legs, life becomes difficult. This is the position of the society as well. We all cannot become Scientists, Saints, etc, however, we all can serve the society according to our natural inherent dispositions. To all those who are serving in one way or another, I say thank you and may we all strive to become better by serving selflessly.
Till next week, read, share and follow for more.