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Labor – A Misunderstood Ingredient to Success

Adam Smith, the father of capitalistic economics, described labor as a necessary denominator for wages.  However, many have forgotten this important fact of success.  Even the Bible further encourages us in II Thessalonians by declaring a man must work if he is to eat.  These common statements made in wide circles of culture and communities throughout the world and yet we still see, on a daily basis, large numbers of males standing on street corners doing nothing -- predominately, black males.

I, for one, have grown weary of this parade of individuals that have, either forgotten or never been told, the rule of labor.  Too often the excuses are exercises in the futile waiting for the proverbial “pot of gold” to suddenly appear on whatever corner  or lottery they have wagered in, day after day/night after night, waiting for success, as if success is a moving target. 

My years of experience and wisdom have taught me that success is a stationary goal; it does not move we work towards it.  Perseverance, education, discipline and, yes, labor – hard work – for the wages that are the reward of our dedication to ideals; such as, morality, ethics, self-discipline, education (yes I meant to say it again), dedication, humility, intestinal fortitude (deeper than perseverance) and faith in something greater than themselves – for me it is GOD.

In fairness, there are hardworking, dedicated and diligent brothers holding it down on a daily, two examples come to mind.  My late stepfather was a man that never took a day off in order to provide food, shelter, transportation, support and strength to my mother and two boys that were not of his seed; my brother -- a dedicated and committed husband, father, pastor and worker that punches a clock every workday to provide the necessities for his family.  However, in sharp contrast, for every 1 to 2 hard working brothers there are, at least, 8 to 9 lumbering, banging, slinging, swaging, switching, etc. brothers falling behind.

Adam Smith defined success in a series of expositions recorded in “The Wealth of a Nation”.  The writings and explanations were so well described that they became the foundation for our economy. Significantly, the first chapter outlines a full description of labor and wages, with wages being the residual of worthwhile labor. 

We live in a capitalistic economic society -- a society that allows for production, selling and buying of goods, and any independent business owner will tell that a 60-hour workweek is a short week.  They will further share with you that they spend every free moment of time deciphering visions on how to make their product better.  Therefore, I do not believe that I am alone in my disappointment and dissatisfaction towards this misunderstanding of labor.

In our daily workshops, seminars and casual interactions, let us make a conscious effort to promote the idea of labor by stressing the reward, promised to us, for it.  Peace and prosperity to all that receive it by the labor they perform.  “…banker, baker, candlestick maker…”  Adam Smith circa 1776.

 

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