Today is Labor Day.
For most people, it’s just a generic government holiday. Most treat it as the last chance to enjoy proper summer activities, like cookouts and going to he beach. For kids, it’s often a clear sign that summer break is over and it’s time to get back to school.
However, these past two years have changed a lot about how we see labor, holidays, and traditions in general. I don’t think I need to remind everyone how much change and upheaval we’ve had since 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, I’d rather not remind anyone of just how bad things got for so many people, especially the working class.
So, rather than dwell on that, let me just take a moment to ask that everyone remember what it means to work hard and toil for a living. Many of those reading this have probably worked a menial, arduous job for minimal pay and little benefits. Unless you’re born rich and well-connected, it’s practically unavoidable.
I certainly couldn’t avoid it. One of the first jobs I had was at a fast food restaurant. It was a tedious, laborious job that always left me sore, drained, and moody. I had to help impatient people get greasy, unhealthy food. I had to constantly empty out the trash, clean the toilets, and sweep disgusting crap off the floor.
But the worst part of all was just how slow time seemed to go every day I was at that job. I swear a minute felt like an hour and an hour felt like a day. It also paid minimum wage and the only benefits I enjoyed was a free meal every day.
It was as unpleasant a first job could be. However, it gave me an immense appreciation for those who work hard and toil at these jobs that a lot of us don’t give a second thought. To this date, I try to make it a point to be extra courteous and kind to those working jobs like that. I also try to tip generously whenever I can.
I encourage everyone to do the same because if nothing else, these past two years have shown just how vital these hard working people are to our society. We literally could not function without them. Whether they’re flipping burgers, delivering packages, or crunching numbers behind a computer screen, their hard work and toil deserves to be celebrated.
Labor Day might not offer much to those who still strain their bodies and souls every day, just to survive. But I hope it offers some perspective to those who truly appreciate the value of hard work.
So, in that spirit, I wish everyone from all walks of life a Happy Labor Day.