The Lessons of Labor
Saturday, September 1st, 2012
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. – Albert Einstein
Labor Day is often a day for celebration. It has come to represent the end of summer. A return to school. The beginning of football season. But at the heart of Labor Day is the intention to spend a day celebrating the importance and value of the American worker.
I’ve been lucky, in my life, to be surrounded by those who understand the value of hard work. It is often said that children will learn from what you do, not you say. I didn’t have to be told that devoting your attention and efforts to whatever task was at hand was to be respected, honored. I saw it and felt it, again and again.
My grandfather, Meatball, approached his work with a smile and a joke, but also with a dedication to a job well done. He valued each and every person that was a part of his family’s company. He knew their names, their families. He worked right beside them.
My father has always been willing to work up a sweat, and happens to be one of the smartest people I’ve ever known. Whether installing insulation, supervising construction sites or lumber mills, or rounding up cows, he always approaches the task at hand with focus and determination. He knows what is to be done, and he wants it done right.
My aunts, my uncles, my cousins, my siblings, my husband; they all teach me more about the value of work. I can look to my family and see a range of jobs: teachers, accountants, hair stylists, fire fighters, landscapers, nannies, CEOs, insurance salesmen, consultants, writers, nurses, engineers. Each of them brings something special to the job – themselves.
In celebration of the holiday, we invite you to share with our EverydayFamily community. Who helped to teach you the value of hard work? Which workers do you want to celebrate for Labor Day?