Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day.  A day off of school.  A day off of work.  Time for a last summer hurrah.  Right?  Do you give a second thought to what we celebrate this day?  Wikipedia says Labor Day is the day that "celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers."  There are so many jobs out there.  So many that go unrecognized, thankless, unknown.  Of course there are those that get praised and recognized and thanked almost daily.  Today, I give thanks to the people who work without recognition in those jobs that no one wants, those jobs where they don't get paid what they should, those jobs that require workers toil day in and day out without a chance to get ahead.  I've read a couple of books that are quite eye-opening about this topic.  The first I read a couple of years ago, called Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.  For this book, Barbara left her home and became part of the low-wage working class to explore if she could make it.  It's quite a read and just might cause a paradigm shift for you.  I sure do appreciate the work and people who take those low-wage jobs in the hopes of providing for themselves and family, and who want to honestly earn money and do the best they can with what they've been dealt.   The second book I read recently that somewhat covers this topic is Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook.  While the book talks about many things regarding the tomato, it devotes a couple of chapters to those who pick the tomatoes and their lives in this line of work.  Did you know that today, here in America--the land of the free, slavery and indentured servants still exist?
So, on this Labor Day, consider thinking about and giving thanks to those who work with little to show for all the work they do.  And, the next time you encounter one of these workers, show them your appreciation, because chances are we wouldn't be able to get by and live the lives we do without their work.

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