I began to realize how simple life could be if one had a regular routine to follow with fixed hours, a fixed salary, and very little original thinking to do.

—Roald Dahl, 1984

Every man is worth just so much as the things he busies himself with.

—Marcus Aurelius, c. 175

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.

—Aristotle, c. 330 BC

Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

—Thomas Carlyle, 1836

A tremendous number of people in America work very hard at something that bores them. Even a rich man thinks he has to go down to the office everyday. Not because he likes it but because he can't think of anything else to do.

—W.H. Auden, 1946

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper that did his job well.

—Martin Luther King Jr., 1954

God sells us all things at the price of labor.

—Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1500

It is shameful and inhuman to treat men like chattels to make money by, or to regard them merely as so much muscle or physical power.

—Pope Leo XIII, 1891

The most fitting occupation for a civilized man is to do nothing.

—Théophile Gautier, c. 1835

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

—Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

I hate the present modes of living and getting a living. Farming and shopkeeping and working at a trade or profession are all odious to me. I should relish getting my living in a simple, primitive fashion.

—Henry David Thoreau, 1855

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

—Upton Sinclair, 1935

Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.

—Anatole France, 1881