Happy Labor Day

“Why don’t you just hire someone to cut your yard, dad,” my youngest son asked as he headed out to work and I prepared to take on the not-been-cut-in-six-weeks-jungle-high-why-don’t-I-harvest-it-as-hay front yard. I have a long list of reasons, but one is that work is good for the soul.

Today is Labor Day and hats off to those who work. I believe it is sad that there are 94 million people not participating in the work force exactly because work is good for the soul of the individual and of the country. Many of us grew up hearing “honest work for an honest wage” was a good guide. It still is. I’m not sure how many hear it. Or believe it.

I went into a local liquor store the other day and when looking for the cashier, I heard a voice say, “I’m coming. Slow, but I’ll get there.” I smiled and said, “Not to worry” as she came from a pile of boxes that she was emptying to the register.

“I’m just tired.”

“Long day, huh? Will you be going home soon?”

“Not until we close. We are short on cashiers. We hire them but they don’t hang around long. They don’t want to work. People don’t stay and customers notice. They just don’t stay long…don’t want to work.”

I would guess that she was in her late 60s, and still going strong, albeit not as fast as she once was.

Whenever I feel a bit tired, I think of my forebears and their labors: working land, picking cotton, raising chickens. I think of my mom and dad and their labors and struggles in a world of few conveniences that we know today.

While Labor Day was established to honor the paid worker, there is honor in unpaid labors—at home, in the community, and so on. Unpaid does not mean unrewarded. The rewards come in seeing projects accomplished, helping others, learning new skills…the list is endless.

Work is good for the soul, and for the world. Happy Labor Day!

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