The Dignity of Work

Work is a vital part of maintaining and developing our common humanity. We work out of regard for others – not only to benefit our families, but also to benefit the society, the country, and the whole human family to which we belong. We are beneficiaries of the work of generations before us, and through our labors, we also share in building the future of those who will come after us.[1] 

There is also inherent dignity in work. Through work, we not only transform our environs and adapt it to meet our needs; we also obtain a sense of fulfillment as a human being. Work “is not only good in the sense that it is useful or something to enjoy; it is also good as being something worthy, that is to say, something that corresponds to man’s dignity, that expresses this dignity and increases it.”[2] Conversely, without work, we feel adrift, question our abilities and sense of worth, and fear for our future. Men or women have no means of providing for themselves or their families.

One of the world’s greatest crises and challenges today is that almost half the world’s young people are unemployed. Nearly 1 in 3 young people world-wide are not in education, employment or training.[3]

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