Monday, September 7, 2009

A Deeper Look at the Meaning of Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, a day off work for most of the American people. We enjoy this last day of summer with outings, B-B-Qs, and maybe a last minute swim. To celebrate Labor Day is not only to take a break from work but can also be a time when we express gratitude. Especially for those who during this time of economic slowdown, still have a job to go to on Tuesday morning.

History of Labor Day
Labor Day originated during the labor union movements of the 1800s as a way to celebrate the social and economic advancements of the United States and pay tribute to the driving force of our economy—the American laborer.
As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days, seven days a week in order to make a basic living. Children were also working, as they provided cheap labor to employers and laws against child labor were not strongly enforced.
With the long hours and terrible working conditions, American unions became more prominent and voiced their demands for a better way of life. On Tuesday September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first-ever Labor Day parade. Participants took an unpaid day-off to honor the workers of America, as well as vocalize issues they had with employers. As years passed, more states began to hold these parades, but Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later.

Why do we work and why is labor so important?
Most of us work for a living, to support our families. Nothing in our daily lives impacts the family more than the work we do. Let someone in the family lose his/her job and the family enters into extreme stress.
Another important factor is self-fulfillment and personal satisfaction in doing a job well done. It makes us proud and gives us the respect of others as well as a certain social status. It also stimulates us to a certain point and makes our lives meaningful.

God honors our labor and encourages to take a brake
The biggest reason why we work hard is to resemble our creator. God created the universe for our use and pleasure. He also purposed us to be responsible members of our society to make valuable economic and environmental contributions. "Protestant work ethic" was always a source of pride, the idea that hard work was a calling from God dated back to the Reformation and the teachings of Martin Luther. For those who work and fulfill their responsibility, he gives the sabbath or days off for our entertainment. Our work gives us personal fulfillment but it is not depending on receiving God's love. Because we are love, we have the source of joy and happiness already build in. It doesn't depend on how much or how little or even what type of work we do, we are human beings, created as the children of our Heavenly Father. He wants bless us and bestow his grace on us.

Prov. 12:14 “From the fruit of the mouth one is filled with good things, and manual labor has its reward.”
Ps. 104:23 “People go out to their work and to their labor until the evening.”
Heb. 4:9-10 “So, then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God, for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.”

New definition of labor in the electronic age
With the advancement of the internet and the conveniences of computers, cellphones, and other gadgets, certainly Labor Day takes on a whole new meaning. Many of us don't work in big factories anymore. In fact, many companies outsource their work to home-based workers or free lancers. Researching some of this "new way to work," I came across this article:

The “New Way to Work” contest begins on Labor Day, September 7, 2009 and ends with the winner announced on December 11, 2009. The contest will give the broader world of online workers and their clients an opportunity to earn their moment in the spotlight.
To take part in the contest, participants need to:
1. Showcase their “new way to work” through any medium they choose, be it photography, a blog article, a Web page, YouTube video, tweet, cartoon, art installation, song, haiku, or any other means to demonstrate their point.
2. Publish and promote their example to capture the attention and imagination of a broader online community.
3. Notify contest judges of their effort via Twitter (use #new-way-to-work) or by posting a link on Elance’s Facebook fan page.
Get more info on the contest on the Elance blog.
That's looks like fun.

Do yourself a favor participate in continuous education
"Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It's precisely that simple, and it's also that difficult."
-- Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader

Whatever your work status is right now, do yourself a favor and continue to learn. Learn about your particular field of expertise, this will give you an advantage in the workplace. Learn new skills and interests, which will help you to take responsibility in our changing society.
Education is also the key to successful leadership. Our founding fathers believed very strongly in education. But they weren't concerned with the amount of education, but the quality of the thinking that resulted from a proper education.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
-- Thomas Jefferson

All troughout history, man had to overcome ignorance. Through science and study of history we can learn about principles which work in all areas of life. Today more than ever we want to learn how God sees "his-tory." The providence of restoration reveals parallels which are obvious and teach us how to participate in this restoration. So we can participate in the ultimate vision for our lives, which some people call the Kingdom of Heaven;" others call it the ideal world or just peace on earth. We all can be leaders, in our families, in social circumstances or on a larger scale in the way our country is going.

I am just now reading "The Coming Aristocracy" by Oliver de Mille. It is quite an eyeopener and we can't afford to be bystanders. By reading and learning we can keep up, even when our "formal education" is finished. We all owe to ourselves to be informed.

For those who would rather be entrepreneurs and start their own home-based business, I suggest: MonaVie, the nutritional beverage company which is taken America by storm and it's supporting TEAM business with its turn-key learning system.

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