From Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh by Helena Norberg-Hodges
For those who are able to produce their own food, clothing and shelter, there is a significant reduction in quality of life once they relinquish their own culture and independence for an unstable monetary income.
For centuries people worked as equals and friends—helping one another by turn. Now that there is paid labor during the harvest, the person paying the money wants to pay as little as possible, while the person receiving wants to have as much as possible. Relationships change. The money becomes a wedge between people, pushing them further and further apart.
From Wandering Home by Bill McKibben:
What we need more of are people who actually know what they’re doing out in the physical world–who know so well that they can not just carry forward old tradition but work out new and better ways of doing things.
from Humility Matters by M. Funk:
Manual labor is physical, repetitive, never finished, always needing more attention, and something I can do while my mind is recollected. The most suitable work for a contemplative is hidden and necessary.
From Global Woman by Barbara Ehrenreich:
The moral challenge is…to make work visible again: not only the scrubbing and vacuuming, but all the hoeing, stacking, hammering, drilling, bending and lifting that goes into creating and maintaining a livable habitat. In an economically unequal world real work, labor that engages hand as well as eye, that tires the body and directly alters the physical world, tends to vanish from sight.
From Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew Crawford:
The satisfactions of…manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth. He can simply point: the building stands, the car runs, the lights are on…[This] well-founded pride is far from the gratuitous ‘self-esteem’ that educators would impart to students,as though by magic.
From The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Gandhi:
I have noticed this characteristic difference in the popular attitude—partiality for exciting work, dislike of quiet constructive effort.
Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and you make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking. –Wangari Maathai
He asked me the bread of work.
I gave him the stone of bread–
He left me unfed:
Then from his eyes I see
Mine own self look at me.
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