The past year and a half has been tough for all of us. Covid and the subsequent lockdowns ruined plans in many aspects of everyone’s lives. However, with the worst of the virus behind us and things finally going back to normal, we are still feeling the tremors that come with a global pandemic in the workplace.
At the peak of the coronavirus, the U.S. reached a 14.8% unemployment rate “the highest rate observed since data collection began in 1948”. Since then, things have gotten better with the unemployment rate dropping to 5.9% as of June, however this is still drastically higher than in 2019 when the jobless rate dropped all the way to 3.5%.
A decrease in workers spells disaster for business owners across the nation, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics citing 9.2 million job openings as of May. Many people simply aren’t going back to work, and this shortage of labor is hurting everyone, including the people choosing not to work.
From the beginning of time, hard work has been crucial to mankind’s success as a species. The first lesson God chose to teach us in Genesis 1 lays out a foundation of working most of the week; man was designed to do work.
Choosing to live off the dime of anyone else, be it a parent, grandparent, or the government, will lead only to more need for them in the future, and will always force you to give up some of your freedom. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the design of ambition.” This certainly is not to say that there aren’t any reasons why someone may need the help of an outside source to get by- be it a disability, tragic event, or still going to school and working towards a future career. However, if someone’s reasoning for not working and taking unemployment, or living with their parents, is just because they can, they are choosing to be under someone else’s influence and giving up some of their autonomy. Economic independence is vital to truly being free. Relying on the government for money will only ever lead to more reliance on the government, and thus put you evermore under the government’s influence.
There are many reasons why laziness is wrong, sloth being one of the seven deadly sins even, but there are more reasons why participating in work is a good and moral imperative. Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Living in constant pursuit of our own pleasure can never lead to the sense of fulfillment and purpose that putting in a hard week of work and bringing home food for your family can. Work gives our lives meaning, and allows us to be productive members of society. Through work, we can affect positive change in the world and break down our natural sense of entitlement, or belief that anyone else owes us anything. Through our own work we come to realize and be thankful for the work people before us have done in order to bring us to where we are today as a society.
Getting up in the morning for a day of labor has long been a tradition for all of humanity. The modern notion that less work leads to more happiness is severely flawed and harmful in the long run. Your work benefits society, your family, and you, so get back to work.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.