Happy Labor Day, I suppose, for today is the day set aside to honor those who toil every day of their lives to make the world go around or just to make lots of money which also makes the world go around. Truthfully, commerce has became so entangled I’m not sure what is beneficial or detrimental to our mental health and bank accounts. What once seemed to be a necessity for survival has become, more often than not, a battle over wealth.
Once upon a time humans had to scratch the earth, take up weapons and struggle to survive every day they wished to live. While in these modern times there are shinier prizes and fancier clothes, housing and more things to entertain us, I feel the struggle is no less real. The difference is that while too many humans are still working themselves to death to eat, to live and provide for their families, all too many are doing it not just for themselves but so that other humans can enjoy lives of ease, comfort and abundance. Wealth has become a disease in modern society, infecting the hearts and minds of humans to the point of theft, murder and callousness.
Are things better than in the days when the wealthy thought it proper and reasonable to have slaves, sharecroppers and land laborers paid merely enough to get by? While I say yes, I have to add that, by the dictates of modern society, too many people are still indentured servants to the upper class who are gaining greater numbers every day. The saddest part about this unfolding is that humans have done this to themselves in part because of want, the desire to acquire more stuff, to ensure their children ‘have better lives’ and to secure a fortune for their retirement while many never see that time due to illnesses brought on by the stresses of a life of overwork and too little relaxation.
What defines a better life? One in which there is less work? I have felt all my life that a job well done is the greatest reward a person can know. The unfolding of a wealthy society at large has changed that sense of pride into pressure to do more and expect less, to feel ashamed when quotas are not met, goals are not achieved or there aren’t enough ‘Likes’ on the company social media page.
But, hey, there is always Labor Day, a paid holiday to make up for all those other days sacrificed to the gods of finance.
We have always had a garden in the Summer and nothing tastes as sweet as something you have grown with your own hands. Planting, nurturing, protecting and harvesting that which sustains us leaves a true sense of accomplishment. Perhaps that is what is missing in much of today’s working environment. Too many laborers do not see or reap the benefits of their hard work. Incentives, bonuses, and company benefits are dwindling more and more while large companies get wealthier every minute.
I am fortunate to work in the field I do because I can see the value in my work in the end results of what I contribute. Not everyone is so fortunate. Even without monetary bonuses, one can be content in knowing they have helped to enrich a person’s life. For this I am grateful. For many things I am thankful.
I want to thank every single person who has had to go out during this pandemic and risk your life so that you and your families can eat. As someone who has had to do the same thing, I appreciate the stress, anxiety and weight it puts on your shoulders. And to all of you who have made it safely to retirement I say a very hearty, “Congratulations!”. Don’t look back, don’t worry about that job you left. Enjoy what you worked so hard to achieve. Nothing is promised in this life. Step outside and breathe the air.
(If you stay away from crowds you don’t even need a mask.🤭)
I am alive today. That shall be my great accomplishment....today.