When Swami Vivekananda was traveling across India, he came across a cobbler, who was looked down upon due to his profession. Therefore, the cobbler too felt the same about his profession.

Swamiji tried igniting self-respect in him saying, “Your profession is very noble. It is only because of you that people are able to roam around without feeling the heat of the earth.” These words had a magical impact on the cobbler and he instantly developed self-respect for his work.

The above incident is taken from the Hindi play ‘Yuganaka Swami Vivekananda’ by Dr Vikram Panchal

Swamiji said the aforementioned thing ages ago, but sadly it’s still relevant in India. Even in 2021, the idea of ‘dignity for labor’ is still unknown among the masses, unfortunately.

On one hand, we continue to look down upon professions like cobbler, carpenter, servant, maid, blacksmith, etc. On the other, we continue to be in need of people into these professions. But somehow, they don’t get the due respect.

Being spiritual isn’t limited to reading the scriptures, carrying our rituals, eating healthy and doing yoga. One needs to look at every being with respect and kindness. If your spirituality hasn’t helped you develop your mind to look at each being with equal eyes, you can’t call yourself spiritual.

There’s another incident with the same cobbler where Swamiji accepts food cooked by him who also happens to be from the so-called low caste. People get angry at the cobbler for giving food to Swamiji because the former was considered to be ‘untouchable’. This is when Swamiji admonish the group of people for their lowly thinking and for considering something as evil as caste.