Re-thinking the Value of Work
A few thoughts on what working with your hands means and how we tend to view manual labor.
We must redeem the principle that manual labor is to be admired.
Working with one’s hands is not an antilogy to education. Lessons learned in trade schools and real-life experiences are every bit as valuable as a college degree. In many cases–more so.
We already have more than enough lawyers, hedge-fund managers, social-media influencers, aspiring DJs, actors, athletes, and preachers. We do need many more bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, lab assistants, and farm workers. Given our aging population, we’re especially going to need far more caregivers. Regardless of wealth, your life depends on these people.
The best way to make manual labor meaningful is to pay decent wages that really mean something. It’s why we desperately need unions. It’s why a liveable minimum wage, mandated by law, is essential.
Paying human beings as though their work truly has value is the most important first step toward restoring the doctrine that hard physical work is a noble pursuit.