Thursday , July 18 2024

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.


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. 


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.


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 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. 


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 new novel, 'Unicorn: A Love Story,' is available as an e-book and in print.

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