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Weekly quote: The goodness of work

“If any man, whoever he may be, is ashamed to work in public armed with a cooper’s ax and girded with a leather apron, I see in him nothing more than a slave of opinion, ready to blush at doing good whenever decent people are ridiculed.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1712-1778

“Temperance and work are the two true doctors of man. Work sharpens his appetite, and temperance prevents him from abusing it.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1712-1778

“The political scientist James Scott, observing a lively practice of neighborly aid among Southeast Asian villagers, concluded that the absence of modern technology made interdependence a matter of sheer survival. The fickle forces of nature thus triggered a counteracting human solidarity, which itself fed a yearning for togetherness that seemed natural. The process appeared to begin and end with nature.” – Eric Brende, Better Off

“The body as well as the mind needs vigorous exertion, and even the studious would be happier were they trained to labor as well as thought. Let us learn to regard manual toil as the true discipline of a man. Not a few of the wisest, grandest spirits have toiled at the workbench and the plough.” – William Ellery Channing, Less is More, 1780-1842

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” – St. Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226

“But is work something that we have a right to escape? And can we escape it with impunity? We are probably the first entire people ever to think so. All the ancient wisdom that has come down to us counsels otherwise. It tells us that work is necessary to us, as much a part of our condition as mortality; that good work is our salvation and our joy; that shoddy or dishonest or self-serving work is our curse and our doom. We have tried to escape the sweat and sorrow promised in Genesis—only to find that, in order to do so, we must forswear love and excellence, health and joy.” – Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America, 1934-

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