As I anticipated cooking on my outdoor grill for a traditional Labor Day family barbeque, I also pondered why Labor Day was, well, Labor Day. I love living during a time when any answer is just a Google and a click away.
Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States since the 1880s. The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday- a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations.
Okay, simple enough – a celebration of workers. Although the trade and labor organizations have morphed over the years, we are all workers. Whether we clock in and out, manage a team, run a business or invest in many businesses- they are all forms of work.
The Depression era yielded a generation who had a black and white view of work- work until you are 62 years old, then retire. There was no grey.
Today’s workers search for careers they are passionate about. The result: work does not feel like work. They can labor daily and see it as a blessing, a way of expressing their gifts, and yes, of course, a way of earning a living.
We each have a need for mastery and meaning – to do something well and to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
May you enjoy this time to rest and appreciate your work. Then get ready to make a positive difference with your labor!