I came across the picture above and it aptly described all I have been hammering on for a while now in my circles. These days, everybody wants to get rich quickly and easily without really working hard or earning the wealth they desire. Gone are the days when there was real dignity in any form of honest living. These days, people don't want to care how a person's wealth is gotten so long as they can have some of it or aspire to be like that too without hard work. You find even broke people turning their noses up at certain menial jobs. This shouldn't be so.
Dignity of Labour is an indication of equal respect given to all types of jobs where no occupation is seen as superior to another. In recent times, this sort of respect for all occupations is so rare to find. People maltreat and disrespect their house-helps/maids, their drivers, cabbies, checkout staff, waiters/waitresses, etc. I have heard people refer to migrants who drive taxis or clean office buildings as "slaves of the western world". Well excuse me, these are the same people you ask to send you phones, clothes and money "from the abroad". It does not matter what sort of job a person gets so long as it is legit and not harmful to the lives of others.
We need to rid ourselves of the mentality that only suit-clad, or 'hoodie-wearing-singing-homies' are those in the legit business of easy money making. We see all the music videos and want the flashy affluence being showcased and of course the access to free "booty" and we desire that, to the extent that we are willing to do illegal and downright nefarious things to achieve these mirage of a success. What ever happened to using your brains, talents and hands to earn a honest living? What happened to being content with what you have without greedily coveting what others, who most likely have worked pretty hard to get theirs, are seemingly enjoying?
I have tried to look back and see where this shame in struggling to earn a honest living stemmed from and I haven't reached a full conclusion yet. I do know, however, that between the religious institutions promising you "miraculous" wealth rather encouraging people to shun criminal activities while highlighting the repercussions of such and the false lives of seeming opulence being displayed in music videos and on social networks like Instagram and Facebook, lies the conclusion I seek.
The more we sensitize people on contentment and the need to work hard, the better for us all. Lack of contentment which leads to greed are what breeds corruption, scam artists and ritualists. Personally, I think the religious leaders and the government have a whole lot to do in re-orientating people about Dignity of Labour.
To round off, I was sent the texts below and I think it aligns with the whole point of this article:
"In my childhood days, I stitched shoes" - Abraham Lincoln
"I used to serve tea at a shop to support my football training" - Lionel Messi
"I used to sleep on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at a local temple" - Steve Jobs
"My teachers used to call me a failure" - Tony Blair