When I first met Bunny Briggs, he sat me down and said, “Congratulations, you’ve chosen the most difficult path.” He was talking about being a tap dancer. He said that of all the performing art forms dance was at the bottom of the ladder, and of all the dances, tap was at the bottom. This was coming from someone who made his living tap dancing from the time he was a child. He would know.
In a recent long table conversation hosted by Dance/NYC, one of the participants stated something related that resonated with me deeply. They said that we live in a culture that doesn’t honor labor. Insert long pause here and think.
We hire others to do the physical labor that our lifestyle requires. We think careers are different than pursuing jobs that require skilled labor, which is definitely different than unskilled labor. Their is a hierarchy there that isn’t helpful.
If we value certain jobs more than others, it’s ever so easy to value the people who do those jobs differently. No. All good work (that which is productive, supportive of people and community) has equal value. Hard path or easy doesn’t matter so much as what the possible outcome of the work is. The fruit of the labor is what matters.