By the Sweat

After the Fall, God said that Adam (man) would live by the sweat of his brow. This would seem to indicate that he’d not done so prior to the fall. But, now that sin had entered the world, Adam’s life would depend on his work.

Since then, our lives have been inextricably linked to the work we do. Many of us have family names which were originally derived from occupations. Going with a few English examples (but they can be found in almost any language) we have Miller, Butcher, Baker, Fisher, Archer, Chandler, and Sawyer.

When someone’s ability to define themselves by the work they do is removed, regardless of how it is removed, it does great damage to that person. The younger the person is, in my own experience, the deeper the damage.

Calvin Coolidge said it well almost 98 years ago:

The best service we can do for the needy and the unfortunate is to help them in such manner that their self respect, their ability to help themselves, shall not be injured but augmented. Nobody is necessarily out merely because he is down. But, being down, nobody gets up again without honest effort of his own. The best help that benevolence and philanthropy can give is that which induces everybody to help himself.

Are there truly needy people in our society and around the world? Absolutely, but treating them as so many bills that need to be paid does them and those who would help them no favors.

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