Monday, September 1, 2014

The Irony of LABOR Day

Every holiday has its nostalgic aspects and emotional memories. Labor Day, for me, is somewhat ironic

Labor Day is like an exclamation point marking things that change each year like the ending of summer and beginning of fall, or the start of a new school year. For some it is the welcoming back of the football season. Parades and barbecues mark the day we celebrate labor.

Most years I have paused during Labor Day and noted my gratitude at being employed, or at starting new classes, or in being able to provide products and services to my customers. Rather than focusing on others, for me, Labor Day is a celebration of work and achievement and being part of the multitude of cogs that spin and grind and keep the world running.

How ironic that for many work is halted on the day we celebrate it!

The celebration of labor and workers who have built, and continue to create, the backbone of the country through better workplace conditions goes back to the 1880s. At first a few individual states began to recognize a holiday for labor. Eventually the gains and demands of the labor movement's struggles—often earned through protests, violence, and sometimes police shooting into unruly crowds— were celebrated with the creation of a national holiday in 1894.

There are plenty of work issues persisting today, equal pay, wage gaps, and unemployment to name a few. But the holiday and the serious issues seem disconnected to us.

How do I celebrate this year? I'm focusing my energies all week on promoting my online shops and items for sale. In a typical week I usually work to promote items from my online reciprocal promotional groups.  This week the focus will be me. Seems like the old labor movement would appreciate our communal focus and also awareness of the importance of the individual.

Here are links to a wonderful group of small business owners and to my Etsy shops.  These are perfect places to find that special gift!

Enjoy your holiday!