You know what work is?
Work is love made visible. So says Khalil Gibran in The Prophet. “And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.”
But the story of work is more tragic, with striking changes in the way work has been perceived and organized throughout history. The form and nature of work is a reflection of our values and determine the character of society.
Independent craftsmen of the Renaissance owned their own tools and set their own working hours. Artisans were regarded as creative workers rather than manual laborers. They weren’t slaves. Great talents were born, among them Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, who fused science and art to create masterpieces.
The Industrial Age changed everything. Artisans and their cottage industries were no match for the new, power-driven machinery. Factories produced goods on a large scale, altering the organization of work.
“There had been set in motion...