Sunday, September 1, 2013

In honor of Labor Day...

"Dignify and glorify common labor. It is at the bottom of life that we must begin, not at the top." - Booker T. Washington

I hope that this Labor Day is a reminder that all work has its importance in our society.

We fondly remember the days when we could look forward to graduating from high school and spending a career that ended with a nice gold watch and pension. Today, we seek a more instant reward as evidenced by the so-called celebrities who are famous for no real known reason or for reasons we dare not share with mixed company.

This Labor Day, however, I hope that we can honor those who indeed expend their effort to not only make a life for themselves, but to serve others. Generations ago, the mere idea of working meant risking life and limb to make a buck.

Thanks to the labor movement and social progress, we can afford to take for granted the protections and the regulations that allow us to live and work another day.

Monday may be a holiday, but it this day of leisure is best spent observing the long road that our forbears and our contemporaries have walked for us to benefit from the sweat of our hard work.

While some may deride the labor movement as being radical, we must always remember that men and women who provide goods and services are central to the success any economic system. When we abuse, mistreat or disrespect our laborers, we also cause grievous harm to our community and our long-term prosperity.

Look no further than when Henry Ford raised wages for his workers so they could purchase his automobiles and contribute to a greater society.

Look no further than the popular retailers whose low wages force their employees onto the public dole and place an undue strain on our welfare system.

A little respect and dignity go a long way for our workers and for humanity.

Happy Labor Day 2013.