Work is a good thing for man–a good thing for his humanity–because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfilment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes ‘more a human being’.”
– Blessed John Paul II, Laborem Exercens
Labor Day has rolled around way too quickly once again, hasn’t it? That day on which we eat BBQ garnished with bits of end-of-summer-sadness, and the date marker after which to stow your white wearables, right? Well, if those were the only two things on your radar this holiday, you may need a little inspiration. The labor movement created Labor Day more than 100 years ago, dedicating it to the social and economic achievements of American workers. “It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” according to the US Department of Labor.
But our work is more than just a means of earning “our daily bread”. According to Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on Human Work, our work–in whatever form it takes “contribute(s) to the continual advance of science and technology and, above all, to elevating unceasingly the cultural and moral level of the society within which he lives in community with those who belong to the same family.”
For more inspiration about the dignity of work, add Laborem Exercens, to your reading list! It will not disappoint.