Happy Labor Day



Selected Quotations

The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nominalist and Realist”, Essays: Second Series (1844)

The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.

Robert Frost,Quoted in The New Speaker’s Treasury of Wit and Wisdom (1958)

Every individual should have the opportunity to develop the gifts which may be latent in him. Alone in that way can the individual obtain the satisfaction to which he is justly entitled; and alone in that way can the community achieve its richest flowering. For everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

Albert Einstein, Quoted in Educational Trends : Journal of Research and Interpretation (June 1936), p. 32

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”. Without this consideration it is impossible to understand the meaning of the virtue of industriousness, and more particularly it is impossible to understand why industriousness should be a virtue: for virtue, as a moral habit, is something whereby man becomes good as man. This fact in no way alters our justifiable anxiety that in work, whereby matter gains in nobility, man himself should not experience a lowering of his own dignity.

Saint Pope John Paul II, Vatican, Laborem Exercens (On Human Work), I-9

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas Edison, as quoted in An Enemy Called Average (1990) p. 55

I am the searcher of hearts and minds and that I will give each of you what your works deserve.

Revelations 2:23

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

Elbert Hubbard, A Thousand and One Epigrams (1911)

The idea that to make a man work you’ve got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We’ve done that for so long that we’ve forgotten there’s any other way.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Amory Blaine” in This Side of Paradise (1920) Bk. 2, Ch. 5

Keep doing some kind of work, that the devil may always find you employed.

St. Jerome

Ease and speed in doing a thing do not give the work lasting solidity or exactness of beauty.

Plutarch, Life of Pericles

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

Abraham Lincoln, First State of the Union Address (1861)

Labor in this country is independent and proud. It has not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor.

Daniel Webster, Discourse delivered at Plymouth (1820)

…nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:8-10

Ah, little recks the laborer,
How near his work is holding him to God,
The loving Laborer through space and time.

Walt Whitman, Song of the Exposition, I

Sources: Wikiquote, USCCB New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE), Vatican


Please celebrate responsibly.

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