More than the usual or standard way of addressing the triad of capital, labor and materials owned by the former and enriched by the latter, the truth is that even but the mere mention of “Human Labor” already brings to mind the basic reality that there are three fundamental realities therein involved or implied, viz., the working agent, the agenda to be worked upon plus their harmonious composite as a productive triad or a beneficial composite that dignifies the worker, that enriches the value of the agenda, that enhances the self-worth of the worker and adds value to work material. With their disunity or antagonistic separation one from the other, none of the said accompanying elements of human labor becomes a beneficiary of one or the other. By the way, let it be herein expressly mentioned that capital – its dignity and good will, its understanding and appreciation plus its honesty and equity – is most beneficial to human labor and its complementary elements. It would not be good but also worth it to take good note of the following realities when specifically addressing the precious reality and noble implications of Human Labor:
1. The Agent: This is the human person – the man or the woman – engaged in doing a work, in attending to a job, in engaging himself/herself in labor. This is known as the “subjective sense” of labor. It is the activity of a man or a woman as dynamic individual capable of undertaking a variety of actions as parts of the work process in accord with his/her calling and mandate to be productive. More profoundly, it means someone acting in a rational and planned way ultimately meant for his/her self-realization. This is the human person as the subject of labor.
2. The Agenda: These have the reference to the object to be attended to and accordingly accomplished, the acts done, the resources utilized, the instruments used and technology adopted in order to produce the concrete needed or opted realities or temporal advantages. This is known as the “objective sense” of labor. In this perspective, labor varies in expressions according to changing temporal requirements which are conditioned by the social, economic, political and technological variants of the time and/or place. These particulars constitute the contingent aspects of human labor.
3. Their Composite: This is the joint reality or actuality of the subjective and objective aspects of labor, viz., the agent, the agenda and the concrete results thereof in the temporal sphere. While it is true that “Only God can Make a Tree!” in the sense that there are realities on earth and above the earth that no human labor per se cannot bring about – such as the minerals in the earth, the fish in the sea, the planets in the sky – it would be hard if not altogether impossible to see practically innumerable things that are not the products of labor in both its “subjective sense” and “objective sense”. From toothpicks to lamp posts, from carts to cars, from kite to planes, etc., etc. all these come about with the composite of labor in terms of agent, agenda and acta – which is precisely the fundamental trio in human labor.
So it is that when man labors, he enriches his dignity, he develops society, he ennobles humanity.