Dignity of labor


In our discussion about the culture in a company, let us discuss something, which is usually not related to the formation of a culture. We, in India, have almost a fetish for white-collar jobs. We find the blue-collar jobs substandard and that is why the youths will continue to remain unemployed but not do something of their own or get into a blue-collar job unless there is an extreme emergency. There is a complete lack of dignity in manual jobs that require physical labor.


I am reminded of #somersetmaugham and his book #thesummingup where he talks about the disdain of intellectuals, who can decipher abstract arts over the skills needed to do farming or motorcycle repair. The majority of us in India consider manual work substandard and hence not suitable for respect as applicable to the civilized people of the society. This is obviously clear in the way people like porters, janitors, even auto/taxi drivers, and restaurant waiters are talked to and treated by the so-called educated white-collar people.

In fact, it has become a part of the culture. I remember even reacting strongly to a sweeper when she sat in front of me on the sofa while talking to me. This was hardly 6 to 7 years back.

Since we don’t consider them at par with us, we don’t respect, care or nurture them which are the foundations of any culture. We actually treat them like objects and in that also, inexpensive objects that can be used and thrown. We don’t behave like that with our expensive gadgets and vehicles.

If we have to bring a cultural transformation in our society, we will have to accept diversity in all forms, whether it is a race, religion, educational qualification, sex, financial background, physical attribute, and personal attributes. It will be extremely difficult for any society to have a distinctly separate culture in daily life and our workplace.

The responsibility to do this is again with us and how we bring our children up. Till we continue to differentiate people as per the above criteria it will be difficult to bring a shift in our culture at the workplace. Since it will be difficult to do that on a level as big as our society or country, let us start small. Maybe in our house, maybe in our department, or at least maybe in our personal life.

Let us start a movement. There is enough power when we join hands. Collective strength can do wonders. There are enough examples of individuals making a change all over the world. We all do not need to be a Sadguru to influence people by taking a motorcycle ride of 30000 km to #savethesoil. Start thinking of that.

Soon, I will give you a place where we all can meet virtually, though I would love to meet each of you physically as well if you are interested. For the time being, you can join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/businesscultureindia. Thanks for reading till the end. Why don’t you join my community and start focussing on #makingworkplaceshappier.


#dignityoflabor #employment #Culture #thesummingup #somersetmaugham #compassion #managementpractices

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All