I recently finished reading Alain de Botton’s book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work – it is truly a glorious read that I highly recommend for those who love thought provoking well written real life goodness.
However it was his quoting of a quote on page 86 that had me standing still with my mouth open in amazement:
“I remembered a passage from John Ruskin’s The Crown of Wild Olive, written in 1866…
‘Of all wastes, the greatest waste that you can commit is the waste of labour. If you went down in the morning into your dairy, and you found that your youngest child and the cat were at play together, and that the boy had poured out all the cream on the floor for the cat to lap up, you would scold the child, and be sorry the milk was wasted. But if, instead of wooden bowls with milk in them, there are golden bowls with human life in them, and instead of leaving that golden bowl to be broken by God at the fountain, you break it in the dust yourself, and pour the human blood out on the ground for the fiend to lick up – that is not waste! What! you perhaps think, “to waste the labour of men is not to kill them.” Is it not? I should like to know how you could kill them more utterly.’