NIHIL SINE LABORE [Nothing Without Work]

Nihil Sine Labore

For those of us of a certain age
Persuaded by a long accepted work ethic
This ancient motto strikes a chord
Which still reverberates within


Years of conditioning inured our thoughts
Our bodies bent, our minds attuned
to work, the main purpose of our life
No other way worthy or acceptable


So we have perhaps become an automaton
The pattern of the days, the weeks the years
Established by the demands of our labour
Rooted in the need for unremitting toil


Thus we had thought nothing e’er achieved
Unless it was the fruit of effort
To be valued, our brow
must glow with sweat


But all of that may now be overtaken
For most, the need for ‘heavy lifting’
Now long gone, the finger’s click
upon the mouse our muscles’ greatest feat!


And routine tasks overtaken by ‘the system’
Endless drudgery snatched from human hands
Our minds freed to think creatively
To do what humans claim they’re best to do


So does this mean that we have abandoned
That former all-consuming ideology?
Is it no longer true that there can be
Nothing Without Work


No, in this modern world, perhaps
we have realised that work is not everything
And conversely, that everything is not work
And at last we can be truly human


Where the balance of life and work
does really matter


Ken Fisher



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