The Value of Labor and Ideas
As we approach Labor Day 2018, this author is looking back 40 years to 1978, when a new adventure began- graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin. Training to become a petroleum geologist, my graduate education was not only the most arduous, laborious effort I'd experienced to that time- it was a transforming event in my life. Very few worthwhile accomplishments occur from chance; most are the result of hard work and dedication. On this Labor Day weekend, a look at the nature of work- and the inspiration that creates great achievements- is in order.
|The University of Texas at Austin|
Work can be physical, mental or a combination of both. "Pure" physical labor like digging ditches or stacking boxes still requires a degree of mental exercise. Mental work- efforts of the imagination, thorough analysis and creativity can produce startling results like cures for serious diseases, great works of art and music, technologies which see inside the atom and explore the realms of the universe. Labor- both physical and mental- has led the ascent of mankind from its earliest humble origins to modern society in the 21st century. From the wheel to the international space station, the transcontinental railroad to the internet- the toil of labor has led to the ongoing progression of mankind.
|The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, meeting at Promontory Point, Utah, 1869|
|The International Space Station|
So on this Labor Day, take a look around. Examine your own labors over the years and the projects you have accomplished, as well as those of family, friends, inventors, statesmen, artists, musicians, engineers, doctors, physicists, researchers and everyone from the man who collects your trash to the physician who protects your health. It is all possible because they each put forth the labor to achieve something worthwhile in building a better world...