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Gazette-Mail editorial: Celebrating work on Labor Day

A lot about the workplace in West Virginia has changed over the years. Nevertheless, the need to work, to have a career, to bring home a paycheck to support a family, never changes. It’s the inescapable role of adults, no matter what form the economy takes. Therefore, Labor Day persists. And, as usual, we reprint some thoughts for the occasion:

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“Men suffer terribly from the death of a loved one, the breakup of a marriage, or some other personal tragedy. But what brings them to the point of immobilization most often is the loss of their job.” — Myron Brenton, The American Male

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“Most people like hard work. Particularly when they are paying for it.” — Franklin P. Jones

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“To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?” — Washington Post owner Katharine Graham, in Ms. magazine, October 1974

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“I don’t pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.” — Theodore Roosevelt, speech, Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 8, 1902

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“The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.” — Ecclesiastes 4:12

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“To own your life is hardly good / unless you own your livelihood. / To own your livelihood’s as bad / if, in exchange, your life is had.” — James Agee, Workers, 1946

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“It is easy to believe that life is long and one’s gifts are vast — easy at the beginning, that is. But the limits of life grow more evident; it becomes clear that great work can be done rarely, if at all.” — psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

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“The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.” — James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name, 1961

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“When God foreclosed on Eden, he condemned Adam and Eve to go to work. Work has never recovered from that humiliation.” — Lance Morrow, Fishing in the Tiber, 1988

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“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy — and Jill a wealthy widow.” — Evan Esar

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“The only jobs for which no man is qualified are human incubator and wet nurse. Likewise, the only job for which no woman is or can be qualified for is sperm donor.” — Wilma Scott Heide, quoted in her NOW biography, 1971

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“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius

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“It is not work that men object to, but the element of drudgery. We must drive out drudgery wherever we find it. We shall never be wholly civilized until we remove the treadmill from the daily job.” — Henry Ford, My Life and Work, 1923

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“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could not have existed had not labor first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves the much higher consideration.” — Abraham Lincoln

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“The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. You can’t weigh the soul of a man with a bar of pig-iron.” — labor leader Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), Seventy Years of Life and Labor

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“Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relative to other matter; second, telling other people to do so.” — Bertrand Russell

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“I am the people — the mob — the crowd — the mass. Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?” — Carl Sandburg

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“Oh, why don’t you work like other men do? How the hell can I work when there’s no work to do?” — from Hallelujah, I’m a Bum, a Depression song

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“Work and pray, live on hay, you’ll get pie in the sky when you die (that’s a lie).” — labor organizing song during the Depression

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“Unemployed labor means human want in the midst of plenty. This is the most challenging paradox of modern America.” — Henry A. Wallace

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“There is no substitute for hard work. ... Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” — Thomas A. Edison, Golden Book, April, 1931

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“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” — Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen)

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“People don’t choose their careers; they are engulfed by them.” — John Dos Passos, The New York Times, Oct. 25, 1959

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“The parallel between women and Negroes is the deepest truth of American life, for together they form the unpaid and underpaid labor on which America runs.” — Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987), Swedish economist, An American Dilemma

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“I don’t like work — no man does — but I like what is in

work — the chance to find yourself.” — Joseph Conrad

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“If capital an’ labor ever do git t’gether, it’s good night fer th’ rest of us.” — Kin Hubbard

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“The basic hero of our books should be labor; that is, man organized by the processes of labor.” — Maxim Gorky

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“The labor union is an elemental response to the human instinct for group action in dealing with group problems.” — William Green

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“The workers have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!” — Karl Marx

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“Work is the curse of the drinking class.” — Oscar Wilde (spoofing a 19th century British temperance slogan, “Drink is the curse of the working class”).

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“If a worker is deprived of hope to acquire some personal property, what other natural stimulus can be offered him that will inspire him to hard work, labor, saving and sobriety today?” — Pope Pius XIII

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“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.” — Lily Tomlin

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“‘A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work’: It is as just a demand as governed men ever made of governing. It is the everlasting right of men.” — Thomas Carlyle

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“To travel hopefully is better than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

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“Nothing is so certain as that the evils of idleness can be shaken off by hard work.” — Seneca

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“Farmer, laborer, clerk: That’s a brief history of the United States.” — John Naisbitt, Megatrends, 1984

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“Such hath it been — shall be — beneath the sun; the many still must labor for the one.” — George Gordon, Lord Byron

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“No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him; there is always work and tools to work, withal, for those who will, and blessed are the horny hands of toil.” — James Russell Lowell

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“People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.” — Ogden Nash

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“The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning you’re on the job.” — Slappy White

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“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” — C. Northcote Parkinson (Parkinson’s Law)

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“The volume of paper expands to fit the available briefcases.” — Jerry Brown

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“Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until evening.” — Psalm 104

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“Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments” — John Steinbeck

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“Labor, n. one of the processes by which A acquires property for B.” — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

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“Twenty-cent cotton and 40-cent meat. How in the hell can a poor man eat?” — Southern Depression-era couplet

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“Work helps preserve us from three great evils — weariness, vice, and want.” — Voltaire

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“In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips lendeth only to penury.” — Proverbs 14:23

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“I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs.” — H.L. Mencken

“Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.” — U.S. Grant

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“I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” — Jerome K. Jerome

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“When I realized that what I had turned out to be was a lousy, two-bit pool hustler and a drunk, I wasn’t depressed at all. I was glad to have a profession.” — Danny McGrooty

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“Labor, like all other things which are purchased and sold, and which may increased or diminished in quantity, has its natural and its market place. The natural price of labor is that price which is necessary to enable the laborers, one with another, to subsist and to perpetuate their race, without either increase or diminution.” — David Ricardo

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“Labor in this country is independent and proud. It has not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor.” — Daniel Webster

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“It is impossible to enjoy idling unless there is plenty of work to do.” — Jerome K. Jerome

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“The workers have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!” — Karl Marx

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“Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.” — Horace

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“If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.” — Doug Larson

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“A career is a job that has gone on too long.” — Jeff MacNelly

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“I am a true laborer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man’s happiness, glad of other men’s good.” — William Shakespeare

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“No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor.” — Andre Gide

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“If you have a job without aggravations, you don’t have a job.” — Malcolm Forbes

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“Women can do any job men can and give birth while doing it.” — Alan Heavey

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“‘You toil and work and earn bread and I’ll eat it.’ No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king ... or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another, it is the same tyrannical principle.” — Abraham Lincoln

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“Work is much more fun than fun.” — Noel Coward

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“A man of words and not of deeds / is like a garden full of weeds.” — nursery rhyme

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“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall otherwise leave them free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

Funerals for Friday, September 20, 2019

Barton, Richard - 3 p.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Birthisel, Avis - 11 a.m., Casdorph & Curry Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Call, Denver - Noon, Allen Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Dearien, Tommie - Noon, Stevens & Grass Funeral Home, Malden.

Fletcher, Joanna - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Keeney, Steven - 2 p.m., Keith Full Gospel Church, Keith.

May, Rosa - 2 p.m., Bartlett - Nichols Funeral Home, St. Albans.

Morris, Linda - 1 p.m., Deal Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Parsons, Harry - 11 a.m., Ellyson Mortuary Inc., Glenville.

Pauley, Clarence - 10 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Pino, Patricia - 11 a.m., Bradley FreeWill Baptist Church.

Rogers, Marilyn - 11 a.m., Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, South Charleston.

Satterfield, Kenneth - 5 p.m., Satterfield residence, 1161 Daniels Run Road, Millstone.