"I have no more than twenty acres of ground," he replied, "the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off from us three great evils-idleness, vice, and want." - The Turk from Candide, Chapter 30
These are definitely three great evils of the Modern World. They are not sins, really, but evils: want can be inflicted by nature as surely as man, as can vice.
It's interesting that all of these evils are personal, and are all stopped with a simple prescription: Work. Work keeps away want, first of all. It also drives out idleness, if you are working at something you enjoy and not shirking your duty. Last, if you're working, you won't have time or energy for vice.
The work the Turk is talking about isn't a specific occupation, it's labor with a specific outcome: When you're done laboring, you've got something of value at the end. It keeps you from want, from poverty. It is something that benefits yourself and others, keeping you from vice. And, it is something to do, keeping you from idleness.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit, as I've gotten sucked back into playing Galactic Civilizations II. I can't think of a better example of idleness and vice than a turn based civilization game. I mean, what do I have at the end of spending 40 hours playing the game? A crick in my neck, a virtual civilization that I will never look at again once I've 'won', and 40 hours of time spent.
Hell, even writing on my blog, I'm at least using my brain and expanding my horizons, putting my thoughts down, if not for posterity, then at least for a little while.