“Satan finds some mischief for idle hands to do,” is one of Russell’s opening thoughts as he starts his writing. As a child it made him, and many others keep working, and inspired to do what “is right”. When we are children we are taught to maintain order and be responsible with our work. Nevertheless, it is no secret that most of us find pleasure in leisure and by being idle. He then moves on to describe the two types of work. The first, that is “the ill and unpleasant”; most of the undesirable tasks are completed. The second, that is the “pleasant and highly paid”; the second type of work is made mostly of giving orders. He also then describes the difference in Western Europe, Russia and America and how it has changed through the course of time.
In Europe, Russell adds how there is even a third kind of worker; which is the land owner. This worker benefits from owning the land. He also compares how during the Industrial Revolution men, women and even children worked in England long hours, in Russia this system was enforced until 1917 and how in America (not in the South until the civil war) the system ended in the Revolution. This system of course, is not as embraced because certain idleness is argued that is needed for a happy life.
Moreover, he talks about how money is used and how it benefits society. If someone uses his or her money for a successful party and then is broke, he will be seen as a full Russell states. Where as if someone uses it for failed investment of a company he or she will be seen as a poor hardworking person with bad luck. However, the person who used it for the party was able to bring joy to the community. In his writing he explains the importance of both – work and leisure; both are required to be able to enjoy what we do in life. Working four hours a day, if distributed well will not satisfy a person, just as working for fifteen hours a day is too much for a person. Therefore, being idle is not a necessarily a sin. It is important to have a balance between work and idleness.