The safe and general antidote against sorrow, is employment. It is commonly observed, that among soldiers and seamen, though there is much kindness, there is little grief; they see their friend fall without that lamentation which is indulged in security and idleness, because they have no leisure to spare from the care of themselves; and whoever shall keep his thoughts equally busy, will find himself equally unaffected by irretrievable losses.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Life’s cares are comforts; such by heaven design’d; he that hath none must make them, or be wretched; cares are employments; and without employ the soul is on the rack; the rack of rest, to souls most adverse; action all their joy.
—Edward Young (1683–1765) English Poet
Be always employed about some rational thing, that the devil find thee not idle.
—Jerome (347–420) Greek Priest, Apologist, Saint
Employment and ennui are simply incompatible.
—Dorothee Luzy Dotinville (1747–1830) French Dancer, Actress
We have employments assigned to us for every circumstance in life. When we are alone, we have our thoughts to watch; in the family, our tempers; and in company, our tongues.
He that does not bring up his son to some honest calling and employment, brings him up to be a thief.
The devil never tempted a man whom he found judiciously employed.
—Charles Spurgeon (1834–92) English Baptist Preacher
Occupation is one great source of enjoyment. No man, properly occupied, was ever miserable.
—Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–38) English Poet, Novelist
Employment gives health, sobriety, and morals.—Constant employment and well-paid labor produce, in a country like ours, general prosperity, content, and cheerfulness.
—Daniel Webster (1782–1852) American Statesman, Lawyer