I ran across this piece on the benefits of labor and couldn't agree more. Teaching the men at Teen Challenge to value work, many of whom have never done an honest days work in their lives, is a hard sell. Carlyle is so eloquent in this presentation I just love it.
Consider how, even in the meanest sorts of Labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony, the instant he sets himself to work! Doubt, Desire, Sorrow, Remorse, Indignation, Despair itself, all these like hell-dogs lie beleaguering the soul of the poor day-worker, as of every man; but as he bends himself with free valor against his task, all these are stilled, all these shrink murmuring afar off into their caves. The man is now a man. The blessed glow of Labor in him, is it not a purifying fire, wherein all poison is burnt up, and of sour smoke itself there is made bright blessed flame?