What “Dignity of Labour” Means


Headed to work the other day, I had to pass by Bar Beach in Victoria Island. As usual, that early in the morning, there was a handful of people hanging around, including the usual assortment of white-garment priests engaging in spiritual warfare and roadside touts (“area boys”) preparing for the day with a drag or two of grass.

All very familiar, all very forgettable.

Except for a particular shirtless guy. He wore boxing gloves, and his skin glistened with sweat as he bounced up and down, throwing jabs and punches at the guy he was sparring with. His face was the very image of intense concentration.

Funny thing is, if I’d seen him walking down the street maybe an hour later, on his way home (wherever that was) from boxing practice, God knows I might well taken him for a street urchin. (Who knows, maybe he was, too, but let’s give him the benefit of doubt, shall we?)

But that was even beside the point. What really struck me was this: this guy was at work. I mean, there I was still on my way to work, and this guy was already hard at it. I had my chosen profession and he had his. And whatever I might think of his work, he took it seriously. And by taking his work seriously, he dignified it.

Even if for that alone, he deserved my respect.

Who deserves your respect?

Be heard – leave a comment!

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