Monday, September 1, 2014

The Fruit of Our Labors

The U.S. Congress made Labor Day an official federal holiday in June of 1894. It's meant many things to many people over the years. Over time, it's become less about recognizing the hard work that bolstered our country during the Industrial Revolution when the idea of a day to honor that work began gaining steam, and more about a day of relaxation and a break from the mail. More about putting away the white shoes and pulling out the pencil case and maybe less about parades featuring proud carpenters and plumbers marching through hometowns.

But this Labor Day, take a moment to pause and consider the hard work that still goes into making our country buzz and hum, what gets it dirty and makes it clean again.

For writers, labor rarely means actual sweat (though it certainly involves plenty of tears), but it's good to remember that what we do is indeed work. Work is serious, should be taken seriously, and done well, provides a satisfaction not found elsewhere in life.

This Labor Day, take a moment to pause and consider what it is you do, why you do it, why you continue. Take a moment to consider what others do for you, through sweat and heft both of the body and brain. Take a moment to enjoy the fact that we live in a country that can and should and hopefully does celebrate the hard work of all of its citizens, those who haul the trash and create the roads and feed and clothe and house and entertain us.

This Labor Day, take a moment to rest and enjoy, and take a moment to remember it's our work that propels us on, all of us, that it's our labor that makes us great.

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