There is Dignity to Work
By Joyce Miriam Brooks, Ph.D.
Board Chair of the La Habra Chamber of Commerce
One of the ways businesses service the community is by providing opportunity to live out our fundamental need to be productive. There is dignity to work.
When we contribute to our own welfare and that of others, we feel a sense of satisfaction. We all desire to be valued for who we are and appreciated for what we do. Feeling useful enhances self-esteem.
When attempting to improve the lives of the poor in third-world countries, non-governmental organizations have learned that the way to make a lasting difference is to equip individuals to work rather than providing handouts. For example, impoverished women may be given a small loan to buy a cow so that they can sell the milk at a profit. Combined with business coaching and the support of an accountability group, these newly-empowered business women are equipped to work themselves out of poverty. They move from victim to entrepreneur and can become leaders in their community. This is the power of the dignity that comes from work.
Of course forced labor such as human trafficking or other kinds of slavery inherently robs workers of dignity. And the workplace climate may become demeaning in the face of constant criticism, conflict, and disrespect.
But we can be thankful for the many reputable businesses that provide opportunities to embrace the dignity of work.
Dr. Joyce is a pastor and an organizational development consultant: her mission is to equip individuals to flourish at work. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.