The Dignity Of Human Labor

7 Sep

“We want a better America, an America that will give its citizens, first of all, a higher and higher standard of living so that no child will cry for food in the midst of plenty.”  ~  Sidney Hillman 

We live in very difficult times.  There is so much strife along political lines as well as along racial lines.  This strife should not exist since we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.  Unfortunately, too many people either forget or ignore that very important fact.  We live in a time where denial seems to be the modus operandi of many a person.

For the past several months, the stock market has been hitting highs and lows that have not been seen in a while.  A lot of people — myself included — have made money off of the market.  (I put the inheritance that my aunt left me into the market last summer because banks are paying such poor interest.  In the “down” days recently, my account was still realizing 7% profit.  I can’t complain about that.)  The problem is that some people see gains from the market and say, “The economy is fine.  People have more than enough to live.”

I think the recent unrest would say otherwise.  There is a larger and larger divide between the people who have a lot of money and those who have too little to survive.  Organizations — such as our parish’s St. Vincent de Paul and other similar charities — have seen a great increase in people coming for help with food, utilities, and other basics needed to support a family.

On Labor Day, we pause to reflect upon our labor.  When we do so, we should also reflect upon what we need to do as an individual and as a society to make sure that all people are provided with the dignity of human labor.  Now, when I say that, I do not mean that all people should be provided a position that will use and abuse them, granting them little more than sweatshop pay and conditions.  I mean that all people should be able to secure a job that will help to provide living wages and conditions for the worker and his or her dependents.

Our country has grown so much through the years yet the disparity between the rich and the poor seems to be ever widening.  The contempt for the poor seems to be rising as well.  During the past few weeks, the scripture messages have been challenges to love one another as God loves us.  In order to love truly, we have to do all that we can to provide for the good of all.

Don’t be happy with your lot in life and ignore the plight of others.  Thank God for what you have and do all that you can do to help others receive the same opportunities that you hold so dear.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray that all people may be provided the dignity of human labor with a standard of living that will provide for everyone.