The day everyone goes to the lake for the end of summer bash, right? Maybe you have a big huzzah in the back yard and become the pride of the neighborhood, if only for a moment, as you grill delicacies rivaled only by the fleeting visions dancing within your own mind. Or perhaps, you just nap the day away because you don’t have to work on Monday for a change.
No matter your style, you may have missed the point. The time was the 1800s and most folks in America were working 70hrs a week. Most were largely underpaid and generally overworked. The formations of unions and various organized labor began dusting things up routinely.
The Haymarket riot and the Pullman Strike managed to make unions look like crap, but ultimately got attention. So President Cleveland did what politicians do and offered an olive branch that cost the political class nothing and bamboozled us into thinking we’d won something. (That’s why there are dozens of holidays each day in America by the way. If you squawk loud enough long enough someone slick will shut you up by proclaiming an annual date as something special, while you leave hat in hand all while thinking you’ve cut a fat hog in the ass.)
The irony contained here is as deep as the Laurentian Abyss. The ‘factory’ worker today is supposed to enjoy a 40hr week and plenty of paid leave. That is the case in some aspects, but rarely the way it plays out. Additionally, the person working for himself isn’t much different today as he was in the 1800s. I’m working 70hrs a week and I know many of you are. More over, when the majority of the country isn’t working on this holiday, the minority are forced to. Adding insult to injury, they’re probably pulling a long shift as well.
Ahhh, Labor Day. I like you. A lot. But let’s be honest about it. It’s a made up holiday by an arguably below average President. No matter what you may think, this country was built on hard work and plenty of it. I know few places on this planet that hard work and perseverance can actually pay dividends, but this is the best of which I’m aware.
So while you’re boating, grilling, and napping, think not about the union or the worker even, and instead concentrate on the idea of hard work and what it means. If and when you master that, you’ll have accomplished something. This holiday conjured from thin air to silence the cries for decency is more about the ideology behind work, as an ethos, than anything else, as it should be. Your work is a projection of attitude and almost mimics a set of quantifiable values. So make sure you understand what work is and do it well.
If you really want to your noodle baked, begin by asking yourself what ‘work’ is when applied to things besides what you do to earn the cheddar… Are you working well when you run the vacuum for your wife? How about the way you present your work when your child is the audience? …And what about the zeal you demonstrate when working on behalf of Christ?
Work means something. It truly is huge. You better have a firm grasp of what work is and isn’t, and how it is to be accomplished, if you intend to make good use of your limited time here. Ruminate on that a bit today between boat rides, burgers, and blissful yawns…
Thank you my friends…