What is a Labor of Love?

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  • Written By: KD Morgan
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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A labor of love is one of the greatest offerings mankind can give of himself because it comes from the heart. It often comes in the form of volunteering for a cause you believe in. Causes can range from a restoration to improving someone or something’s quality of life, to simply going out of your way to make someone feel better.

Many times, a labor of love will come in some form of helping domestic or wild animals. These acts are particularly special because there is no visible recognition from the receiver of your kindness. The same is true for young children as often your generosity is missed in their focused lives.

Acts of kindness and improvement for the earth, the oceans and the environment are most often considered labors of love to God or the universe. However, caring for a loved one or a total stranger is also in the same category of philanthropy.

A labor of love is any form of altruism. The reason a labor of love is well received and appreciated is that it is a genuinely selfless act. Expecting nothing in return, a labor of love is truly an act of pure generosity. It is for the betterment of someone or something else with no expectations or consequences to you.


A labor of love is a very high form of love. It is also the greatest gift to yourself because only in a labor of love can your outer purpose be in complete synchronicity with your inner desires. It is an external act, motivated by your internal self. It is fulfilling your true identity in an outward gesture.

The reason you enjoy doing some particular labor of love, is not due to that particular activity making you feel happy. You could be doing the same action for a different set of circumstances and it would not bring the same joy and satisfaction. It is for the altruistic gift you offer in pursuing this goal.

A labor of love is more of a vehicle to promote what you already have inside you. The activity of a labor of love itself is not inherently satisfying. However, the heart and fulfilling that desire is what brings fulfillment. It can come in any form that is a gesture of giving with no expectations in return. It can be a beautification program, caring for an ailing child, parent or friend.

Simply stated, a labor of love is the “golden rule.” Most cultures of the world, most religions and philosophies adhere to: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”


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Post 3

@croydon - My local news has a little segment every weekend about people in the community who help out others in some way and they almost always seem to be very happy. It might just be because they are being interviewed, but I think it comes from giving back to their fellow people.

I've found that volunteering is one of the best things I can do for my own sanity. I'm always much happier when I'm donating my time or support to a cause.

I'm not sure if it should still count as a labor of love, because I'm basically doing it to make myself happier and that's the payoff.

Post 2

@clintflint - It's something that I wish more people would do. I suspect people who undertake a labor of love in their life are much happier than people who don't. Especially if that task involves helping out others in some way.

We are such complex and creative creatures and it seems like too many people just let what makes them happy fall along the wayside of life.

Post 1

I've always thought that the important part of a labor of love is that it be something important to you that you're doing not for reward, but because you enjoy doing it. It might actually have some kind of reward, but that's not the reason you do it. It might not be altruistic, and that's not really why you do it either, unless that's how you define love.

For example, I would call a restoring a classic car a labor of love, particularly if it was done for pleasure rather than in order to sell the car. That's not altruistic and it does potentially have other rewards. But the labor itself is undertaken because the person either loves the work, or loves the end result.

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