A nation that doesn’t give importance to the Dignity of labor cannot prosper.
All forms of works, manual or intellectual, are called labor. A clerk works in the office. A teacher teaches students at school. A doctor practices medicine. A lawyer practices law. The work of all these men is mainly brain work. A cultivator works in the field. A miner works in the mine. An artisan works in a factory. Their work requires bodily labor. When we say that the work of the cultivators, miners, artisans etc. is as respectable as the work of the clerk, the teacher, the doctor, and the lawyer, we mean there is dignity of labor.
A nation cannot prosper materially if the people are not laborious. Labor is at the source of the power of nation. A nation that cannot work hard, nation that does not respect the dignity of manual labour lags behind the progressive nations. After the industrial revolution the people of Europe learnt to work with tools and machines. They manufactured many things and increased the wealth of the country. The material prosperity of a country depends on the progress of its agriculture, industry and trade. Ordinary laborers work in the fields, mines, mills and factories. Their labour leads to the prosperity and power of the country. Thus work is power. For this reason manual labour should be respected and given importance.
At first, our education system helped us to become clerks, teachers, lawyers, doctors and engineers. Some educated people feel it beneath their dignity to work with tools and machines. They did not look upon cultivators, artisans, traders and ordinary laborer with respect. This is wrong.
When the economic condition of our country became serious. All educated men could not get service. So there arose the problem of unemployment. Pressed by economic difficulties, educated young men were forced to change their outlook. Some were ready to work as laborers with tools and machines. But there was not enough opening for them.
At present the outlook of educated men has been completely changed. They acknowledge the significance of manual labour. Even educated young men of upper class do not hesitate to do all sorts of laborious work. They have felt that there is dignity of labour. They must labour to earn their bread instead of being burdens to others. An ordinary laborer without education is better than an idle educated man because he earns his bread with the sweat of his brow. His work is as sacred as to worship God.
Hence, there can be no proper development in agriculture and industry, trades and commerce in our country without stressing on the dignity of Manual Labour.
Manual labour keeps us physically fit. It fosters a spirit of co-operation, self-help and thereby promotes moral growth.