Labor is a Verb

Labor is hard. It’s also good.

It’s not only good because it is capable of producing good things, or things that can be traded for good things. It’s also good because as you work, work works on you. It changes your attitude, your body, your mind, and your ability.

When you labor, you push yourself to do more than what you feel like doing. You conquer your nature with your will. Every act of will over nature is a kind of worship; it’s a ritual that brings you into the fullness of the elevated creature you are.

Laboring changes you. You gain strength every time you expend it.

Labor is a verb. It is not a person or group of persons. It is not a category of worker or a type of work. All work is labor. All humans do it. Each individual is responsible for his own labor as he is responsible for his own life. To live autonomously is to labor.

Labor is the mechanism by which we reclaim and redeem the world and transform the wilds into the garden. It’s also the mechanism by which we continue the act of creation and propagate our own species.

When you hear that someone is a laborer and another person is a creator, you tend to think of two very different types of people. But childbirth is a useful reminder that labor is the process by which a new creation enters the world. There is no creation without labor, and there is no labor that is not creative.

Celebrate the act of labor today. By laboring, or feasting in honor of the act of laboring.