What is a work ethic?

These days we read a lot about the "work ethic," sometimes called the Puritan work ethic. We read that it is being questioned and challenged. But what is a work ethic?

The words "ethic" and "ethics" refer to systems of moral values and their underlying philosophy. The work ethic, then, has to do with a school of thought which holds that idleness is reprehensible and work an essential of moral living.

Idleness is certainly negative; it cannot possibly contribute to the individual's sense of his own worthwhileness. But the fact is, neither idleness nor grinding and unfulfilling drudgery can be the birthright of man, the image of God, who is omniactive divine Love.

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Promise and fulfillment
July 24, 1978

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