When I think of Labor Day, I don’t just think of unions and parades. Labor Day to me is something very different. Labor Day is a day that celebrates work of all types. I think it’s a day to celebrate the white collar, blue collar and everyone in between. It’s a day to remember the American ingenuity, the American work ethic.
This is the time we should stop and remember all the American achievements from generations past and present. From defeating the British and founding this great country to landing a man on the moon and bringing him safely home again. Defeating world powers who wanted to dominate the planet twice, and developing the assembly line were all in a days work for Americans. We faced one problem after another and solved them. It didn’t matter what the challenge was, we would solve it and continue on.
America’s success might have actually been our undoing. It seems to me that we have lost some of our spirit and drive. We Americans seem to have lost our ability to fight to keep ahead. We now agree to settle for second best without putting out much effort which means we are really much further down on the list.
I think much of the slippage America has suffered is caused by our lack of teaching our history. Someone, somewhere decided Americans didn’t need to know about our past. Those important stories are about what our country has achieved and how we did it. Someone decided we didn’t need to learn what mistakes we made in the past so we don’t make them again. More importantly, we don’t learn how to achieve greatness any more. By learning our history, we learn what being an American is, and what is expected of us.
American labor of all kinds built the greatest country ever to exist on this planet. We collectively went shoulder to shoulder with each other to solve problems and build things. The “American Way” meant getting the job done, and done right. Corporate CEOs, computer people, managers and all the other labor people come together every day to produce for their organizations.
When I think of Labor Day I think of all the accomplishments Americans have collectively created. Winning two World Wars. Our industrial revolution made life so much better for everyone. Our advancements in medicine, science and engineering have had impacts all over the planet. This is what Labor Day means to me. I hope it means more to you than a picnic and parade.