Today is the first Monday of September in the US, therefore it is Labor Day. I have very mixed feelings about today. This “holiday” is set aside to honor all the accomplishments of workers from the previous year that have improved this country.
I wonder if people felt valued at their jobs every day would we have needed to set aside a special day for this purpose?
I wonder if everyone “worked” at what was for them a labor of love — would this day ever have come about?
April 6th to 12th was National Volunteer Week in the US. Did anyone get a day off to celebrate all that volunteers do for this country? December 5th is International Volunteer Day — did you get that day off to celebrate all the things you’ve done to make this world a stronger — better place to be?
If we maintained a balance in our lives between work and relaxation — would we have a Relaxation Day too — so that we could celebrate all that we have accomplished the last year by spending time playing with our kids and meditating and reading and gardening and skiing… Or do we not relax enough to acknowledge that it even occurred?
Do we celebrate this day as another way to separate ourselves from the other animals on the planet? Animals labor and rest and play when these things naturally arise from their day. We humans schedule everything — including our playtime and especially when we dole out the accolades.
I understand that cows need to be milked everyday and hospitals need to be staffed every day… but if this is indeed a day to PAUSE and HONOR and REFLECT on all the advancements from laborers the year before — why are there millions of people working today — instead of being given a day to rest and reflect on their own accomplishments? Why do some get to be honored but not all?
Maybe I’m cranky today, because I should be returning to work tomorrow as a teacher but due to my MCS disability that resulted from repeated exposures to fragrances as a high school teacher — I will not be doing so. I have reflected on what has been done to make our country stronger and more prosperous — and frankly — I have come up with a very short — okay a non-existent list. This opinion is no way a reflection of the workers. It is a reflection of our industry’s and country’s policies as a whole.
We have celebrated the Labor Day Holiday since 1882. After that many years of celebrating the strength and prosperity of our country — why do we still have welfare and high unemployment and high taxes and workers (like me) becoming disabled from unsafe working conditions? Why are factories still packing up and moving overseas? Why are we still dependent on foreign oil? Why are so many of our kids not competitive with other students in the world? Why are many of our children going to bed hungry every night?
In a few months, this year will come to a close — what have we done to make it more prosperous or a more noble place to live? How about since the beginning of the decade or even the beginning of the millennium?
I’ve learned the biggest lesson about finding more love this year is not just going along to go along. What do you think? How do you celebrate Labor Day and what does it mean to you?