More Market Wisdom

I have written before how much solace I take from my quotidian trips to the green market. It is very rare, even when I am busy, that I return from the market hassled what with all the verbal exchanges and multi-coloured activity (sometimes a mildly inebriated vegetable seller bursts into beautiful song).
Today, I was struck by something the apologetic zucchini seller was saying (I go to her for the zucchinis, which can be very expensive, but she grows them on her farm). She often asks her daughter-in-law to help with the selling as she is an older woman, and finds it hard to keep up with all of the farming and the selling, but the daughter-in-law was ashamed to sell vegetables, as she was a bank teller before she was laid off. The woman said she would not be at the market as often as she is, if her daughter-in-law would only help out more.
To my mind, it is more shameful to sit at home and do nothing than to have a job - and, to  my mind, selling vegetables is one of the nobler jobs if one does it well, especially because of the self-sacrifice, for the earnings are usually minimal - which is a real sacrifice in today's world. If a person farms in a place where they cannot become wealthy, and yet has found happiness, this person deserves respect in my eyes. But I understand that others do not see it this way - to them, it is a "step down" on the social ladder.
So I ask once again: what social ladder! If this is a ladder people join after letting their mother-in-law develop more aches and pains instead of giving a helping hand when it was needed, I think this ladder is upside-down.
Diogenes (the lived-in-the-barrel Diogenes) was offered anything he wanted after he gave lessons to Alexander the Great. His response was to ask his student to step aside, as he was blocking the sun. Diogenes is remembered for what he refused, not what he wanted to gain. Albeit, this example falls in the category of the hyperbolic, but my father, who achieved so much in his life, always taught me that life does not always move from success to success, so one must honour people of all stations, as one may occupy these stations too, and one must accept whatever work is available graciously: for a good work ethic wins the day in most unexpected ways. The worst thing in this context are idle, insensitive hands.

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