It just occurred to me today while i was reading something that toiling, making a living by the sweat of one's brow, and cultivating/farming the earth were parts of the curse of Genesis 3. They are consequences of the Fall. In other words, they are among the things that indicate that the world is not as it should be. They are symptoms of a fallen world.
i found this interesting in comparison to the common, sometimes cultural view that hard labor, learning to earn (arduously) a dollar, and even the family-run farm--that these are valuable, ethically respectable things about the world. Many people deem these as "the high road" or that in some sense they are facets of a morall-superior lifestyle.
i'm not about to suggest that these things are immoral and people should quit farming or working hard. This wouldn't be any more of an appropriate conclusion than would be that we should form nudists colonies that live in gardens. But what's interesting to me is that the Bible basically places these things about the world in the same category as death, birth-pains, the loss of innocence, the earth yielding harmful and useless plants, etc. Thus, hard labor and agriculture are "bad" things in the same sense that death and birth-pains are "bad" things--their basic cause/origin and purpose is the same or related. They are a part of the basic digression of the material world. They represent the world turning from ideally-blessed to cursed. In God's paradise, while man did care for and manage nature, he did not arduously labor to produce sustenance from the earth, but provision from nature came (in some comparative sense) easily. That change resulted from sin's entrance into the world, and thus was not some natural ethical value engrained in us from the beginning.
And yet it seems that many people, especially of a traditional mindset, would not at all be inclined to put all these things in the same category, but would tend to see hard labor and agriculture and an ethically valuable part of the world.