Introduction, Session 14: All Work Has Honor
In "Windows and Mirrors," a Tapestry of Faith program
I wear garments touched by hands from all over the world
35% cotton, 65% polyester, the journey begins in Central America
In the cotton fields of El Salvador
In a province soaked in blood,
Pesticide-sprayed workers toil in a broiling sun...
Third world women toil doing piece work to Sears specifications
For three dollars a day...
And I go to the Sears department store where I buy my blouse
On sale for 20% discount
Are my hands clean? — Bernice Reagon
Some Unitarian Universalists work in professional occupations, such as teacher, physician, attorney, engineer or social worker. Others work in factories; in service roles such as waiter, custodian or repair person; on farms; or at telephone or computer desk jobs. Still others may own their own businesses or earn a living in the arts. We all make choices about our jobs based on our interests, abilities, opportunities and needs.
Our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all people tells us everyone has the right to dignity of work—that is, the ability to earn a decent livelihood; a work environment that supports one's safety, health and self-respect; and appreciation for the value one's work brings to us all. Yet, as a society we tend to value some jobs more than others—even though we know that when a person's work is disrespected, undervalued or taken for granted, both they and their community suffer.
This session teaches the concept of dignity of work and makes children aware of their own work, whatever it consists of. They hear a story, "Beautiful Hands," about a child ashamed of her work-worn hands until a teacher articulates how her hands show the beauty of physical work. Children refine their understanding of dignity of work by examining and discussing photographs of children at labor. In Faith in Action, they engage in an advocacy project that promotes a fair minimum wage and universal dignity of work.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
- About the Authors
- Session 1
- Session 2
- Session 3
- Session 4
- Session 5
- Session 6
- Session 7
- Session 8
- Session 9
- Session 10
- Session 11
- Session 12
- Session 13
- Session 14
- Session 15
- Session 16
- List of Stories
- List of Handouts
- List of Leader Resources