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

Eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, eight hours for what we will.

—Slogan of the National Labor Union of the United States, 1866

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

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.

—Ulysses S. Grant, 1877

He that would eat the nut must crack the shell.

—Plautus, c. 200 BC

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

—Anatole France, 1881

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

The workers are the saviors of society, the redeemers of the race.

—Eugene V. Debs, 1905

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.

—Aristotle, c. 330 BC

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

—Jerome K. Jerome, 1889

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

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