‘Work is Worship’ said Carlyle, and a greater truth was never uttered. Many are the blessings of work. All that humanity has achieved during the course of generation was a result of hard work over long period of time. Man-to-day boasts that he is the highest of all creatures, that he is the roof and crown of all created beings. He owes all his greatness to hard work, it is the unique privilege of man to change and master his environment through hard and constant work. Man is human because he is capable of hard work, while the animal is not. The brute does not understand the blessings of work.
Nothing is denied to hard and persistent work. It was Carlyle again who said that, “Genius is but another name for the capacity to take infinite pains.” All human civilization and culture is the result of hard work. Our agriculture, our fine clothes, our palacial buildings; our art and literature, our science, our conquest of outer space, have all been achieved through hard work. Today man has conquered nature and has acquired powers fit for the gods. It is all great blessings of hard work. Indeed, work is worship.
That work is a great blessing is fully released only by those who are subjected to enforce idleness, for one reason or the other. Alexander the Great, wept because there was no more worlds for him to conquer. His life work had come to an end. Similarly, Gibbon wept when he completed his monumental Decline and Fall the Roman Empire, because there were no more books for him to write. Retired people feel most unhappy and wretched for this very reason. Indeed, it is said that their life itself is cut short by their enforced idleness. The cripple and the invalid, who can no longer work, feel that their life is no longer worth living. They languish in grief. For serious offences, the punishment is solitary confinement and such criminals are allowed no work. Their life becomes a burden for the, tedious and boring. Absence of work becomes a severe punishment for them. This is so because work is necessary for the enjoyment of life. Without work recreation itself loses its meaning. Unemployment, or enforced idleness for whatever reason, is the greatest misfortune that can befall a man.
In this connection, we are reminded of the well-know proverb, “Empty mind is the Devils workshop.” Work is necessary to keep man way from mischief. Those who have no work to do are likely to go astray and fall into evil ways. Delinquency is wide-speared among boys who do not go to school, who are not kept busy at their books. Criminals are largely drawn from the ranks of the unemployment or of those who are victims of enforced idleness.
However, it should be remembered that when we say that “work is worship” we mean work which is useful and wholesome for society. It should lead to the well being for society. It should lead to the well being of society, to its prosperity, and freedom from pain and poverty. Work which is harmful for society is not a blessing, but a curse. Waging war, manufacture of poisonous drugs and weapons of destruction, smuggling, and other such anti-social activities, can never be a blessing for mankind. If such work is at all a worship, it is worship of the Devil and not the God.
Further, it should also be remembered that too much even of good thing is bad, “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. Leisure for play and pleasure, is also necessary condition for human happiness. All must work and thus must contribute their own bit of the prosperity and well being of society, but all must also enjoy a certain minimum of leisure to spend in the way they think best. This truth is now increasingly realized, and the result is more holidays and a progressive reduction in the hours of work in all civilized countries of the world.