Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day

Laboring Together

 Constructing Future Goodness!


Labor Day: Ralph Fasanella’s painting of the 1912 Bread and Roses strike in  Lawrence MA.

This morning like many others in America, I had the privilege of sleeping in and will enjoy a day of rest. Labor Day has become the end of summer, day off from school/work, or a final opportunity to enjoy a summer barbecue. Yet, I can’t help but reflect on the origin and reason we celebrate Labor Day. 

Norman Rockwell's 'Rosie the Riveter' update for Labor Day,1943

Labor Day was established as a tribute to the people most responsible for America's freedom and prosperity: American workers. It was first recognized as a national holiday six days after the 1894 Pullman labor strike was violently broken, in an effort by President Grover Cleveland to regain the favor of labor in an uncertain election year.


It seems to me that Labor Day has become about anything but labor these days. The original Labor Day was a phenomenal achievement! Its creators understood that for America to achieve its promise of freedom and opportunity through sacrifice and unity, Americans had to work hard, collaborate, learn continually, and of course relax occasionally. They did not hack each other’s private lives to expose, manipulate, or have the intention to destroy in order to be on top. We worked together. 

It is why on days like today that I think of good ole Fred Roger’s and his neighborhood. 

“It's very dramatic when two people come together to work something out. It's easy to take a gun and annihilate your opposition, but what is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other.” 

So let us bring back the meaning of Labor Day in America and work together! You don’t have to kick off your white shoes like the old days. But we can work together to make wages fair, create jobs, and give meaning to the quality and craftsmanship of how we Labor. 


 Solidarity Forever (Pete Seeger)


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