One of the hardest labours of the just man is to expunge from his soul a malevolence which it is difficult to efface.
Work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so.
Work is a blessing when it helps us to think about what we’re doing; but it becomes a curse when its sole use is to stop us thinking about the meaning of our life.
Work almost always has a double aspect: it is a bondage, a wearisome drudgery; but it is also a source of interest, a steadying element, a factor that helps to integrate the worker with society. Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.
What’s important is that you’re working. I’ve always said that idleness dulls the spirit. We have to keep the brain busy, or at least the hands if we don’t have a brain.
We strive all the time to give our life its form, but we do so by copying willy-nilly, like a drawing, the features of the person that we are and not of the person we should like to be.[Nous travaillons à tout moment à donner sa forme à notre vie, mais en copiant malgré nous comme un dessin les traits de la personne que nous sommes et non de celle qu’il nous serait agréable d’être.]