My Labor of Thanks

Happy Labor Day!!

According to the US Dept of Labor, the reason we celebrate this day is as follows:

“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

We live in a unique country. There aren’t many other places in the world where someone could go from the pits to the penthouse in a lifetime. The idea of the “American dream” seized the world, as it would seem, and make people want to risk everything in the pursuit of it. Not bad for a country who, when it celebrated its first Labor Day in 1882, was only 107 years old and 17 years removed from a war that almost destroyed it.

What makes America so desirable, even now? What makes people still want to risk their lives fleeing to this country? Much of it has to do with what this day celebrates: our freedom to work. Not just to work, but to work the jobs we WANT to work and fulfill the dreams we WANT to fulfill. In the American dream, one can go from having nothing to having all with hard work and dedication. Those that have not, have not because they want to work not. At least, that’s the way it was.

It seems nowadays the American dream has become the American nightmare. Americans in the truest sense of the word are still hard-working, creative, and proud. They love their country and will do what it takes to support it. But it seems their country cares not to honor them any longer. This country was built and still stands on the legs of public servants, small business, and mom-and-pop storefronts in towns and cities all across this great land. But no one cares for them any longer. The days of their honor seem to have gone astray, and the only use those in leadership of our country now have for them is what they can get out of them. These are just my observations, but I know many that would agree.

But herein lies a choice for us. Just because our country seems to be going one way doesn’t mean we have to follow. Another one of the incredible freedoms we have in this great USA is the freedom to CHOOSE. We don’t have to be forced one way or the other. And so, on this Labor Day, here is MY choice: to say thank you and give what honor I can give to those who spend their lives working hard, making every dollar count, and giving their time, talents, hopes, and dreams a life, and a chance to try to make the communities in which they live better for them being there.

It’s not much, it’s not grand, and it will probably only be seen by a few, but it’s all I’ve got to give. From the bottom of my heart to you: small business America…those who work to keep us safe…those who educate us and help us grow to be as great as we can be…those hearts that still hold fast to the American dream…those who are established and the weary just starting…to all who have, are, and will continue to make this country great in honor and deed…

THANK YOU!!

“Well if you ask me where I come from
Here’s what I tell everyone
I was born by God’s dear grace
In an extraordinary place
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly

It’s a big ‘ol land with countless dreams
Happiness ain’t out of reach
Hard work pays off the way it should
Yeah, I’ve seen enough to know that we’ve got it good
Where the stars and stripes and the eagle fly”

**interesting sidenote about this video…it was shot in New York City a few weeks after 9/11. There was a group from my college there, and they are in the video! From 3:05 to a few seconds later, you’ll see a large group standing, and it focuses on a few. That’s them!**

CHALLENGE OF THE DAY: Do you know someone who could use a thank you today? Perhaps a small business owner or a public service worker or a teacher? If you do, make it a point today to say thank you to them. This is a day to celebrate those that labor to make our country the great nation that it is. So enjoy the break, stay safe, and celebrate the American dream!

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