Friday , September 30 2022

Labor Day – A Time to Pause and Reflect

Labor Day is a time to pause and reflect. Ah, Labor Day! At the confluence of summer and fall, it comes at a time when baseball season is winding down and football season is beginning. School is starting (for some it started last week) and summer vacations are ending. It is a day kids dread and teachers love (it makes the first week back to school a shorter one). But it is also a day to honor workers of all kinds: those who do the heavy lifting, those who do the heavy thinking, and those first responders who have to work this day and all holidays because they are needed at all times.

REMEMBERING LABOR DAYS OF MY YOUTH

I recall Labor Days of my youth with dread. Mom would have it circled on the calendar and a line drawn across the days after it that week with the words “Back to School” in big letters written across them. Talk about rubbing salt into the wound! Yet, she always said that she hated when we went back to school because she missed us being home. I have to say that I feel the same way about my kids going back to school. 

THE WORST OF TIMES AND THE BEST OF TIMES

Yes, Labor Day comes at the worst of times and the best times. While our endless summer turns out to indeed have an ending, the beautiful fall season is coming to us with its wondrous colors and aromas of wood burning fireplaces in the brisk air. As leaves and acorns fall and squirrels dash madly to prepare their stock for the winter, we weave in and out of swirling leaves and and make our way to school or work with a little extra zip to our steps.

THE QUIET SIBLING

Labor Day is the quiet one compared to its more celebrated siblings Memorial Day with its big parades (and also seen as the unofficial start of summer) and the rambunctious Fourth of July. But, as the quiet sibling (and unofficial last day of summer), Labor Day has resonance in that we celebrate workers who make our world run. If someone is working today and you encounter them, give them an extra smile (or a better tip if the situations applies) that will show you appreciate their working on a day that many people have off.

ALL WORK IS VALUABLE

All work is valuable and should be respected. Sometimes I don’t see that in stores and restaurants. Some customers disregard the importance the worker making their coffee, handing them their sandwiches, or mopping the floor at the mall. All jobs add to society in positive ways, and that is why workers are celebrated this Labor Day and every year on this day. But we should remember that workers should be honored and respected everyday of the year. 

A TIME TO REFLECT

So, at this time, let’s pause and reflect about what workers have done for us in the past year. We should also think about our own work this year. How do we contribute to society? If it applies, how can we do an even better job in the next year? If you are retired, think back on your career and remember how you did your part by going to work every day.

Happy Labor Day to you all! If you are indeed working today, I hope that at some point that you will be able to enjoy the fruit of your labor! You deserve it!

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His books 'A Death in Prague' (2002), 'Move' (2003), 'The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories' (2005), and 'Like a Passing Shadow' (2009) are available in print, online, and as e-books. 'Heartbeat and Other Poems,' 'If the Fates Allow: New York Christmas Stories,' 'Garden of Ghosts,' and 'Flashes in the Pan' are available exclusively on Amazon. His newest books 'The Stranger from the Sea' and 'Love in the Time of the Coronavirus' are available as e-books and in print. After winning the National Arts Club Award for Poetry while attending Queens College, he concentrated on writing mostly fiction and non-fiction prose until the recent publication of his new book of poetry, 'Heartbeat and Other Poems' (now available on Amazon). He has worked as a faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with 'Blogcritics Magazine' since July 2005 and has written many articles on a variety of topics; previously co-head sports editor, he now is a Culture and Society and Flash Ficition editor. Having traveled extensively, Victor has visited six continents and intends to get to Antarctica someday where he figures a few ideas for new stories await him.

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