Grassroots Commentary

Labor Day

Rona Swanson · Sep. 1, 2014

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” –Sam Ewing

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment; full effort is full victory.” –Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

We celebrate Labor Day today.

Mostly, we see it as the end of summer. It is a day for barbeques and iced drinks and kicking back to enjoy the official salute to summer. Here in Visalia, we do not get too excited about having to bid summer adieu because triple digits will keep us company for weeks to come.

Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday in September, was instituted to recognize the contributions to our nation of strength, prosperity, and well-being that the laborer provides. That work ethic, that “get it done” mentality, formed the bedrock of our society. We were not afraid to get our hands dirty and work up a sweat. We had grit and determination and, that other blessing that comes from applying yourself to a task, the knowledge that together we could tackle any job. There is a satisfaction, a joy, in hard work. When you have applied yourself to a job and you survey the completed project, it is okay to let your heart swell with well-earned pride. It can be as simple as a flower bed cleared of weeds or a room cleaned and straightened. If you have thrown your heart into the task, there is joy in the completion of it.

I pray that we will renew what used to be common knowledge. Hard work is worth the effort.

The greatest impoverishment in our nation is the new ethic – “do as little as possible.”

The pioneers were tethered to their ability to get the job done. There was no Plan B. Their hard work determined their survival.

We are so far removed from that “primitive” way of living and there are people who consistently receive support without ever lifting a finger. It teaches and rewards what is destructive. It sows the seeds of weakness, poverty, and despair.

So, this Labor Day, let’s celebrate those that roll up their sleeves and tackle what’s needed. Let’s invite those who have never experienced that joy to join us.

Proverbs 14:23, New International Version (NIV): "All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.“

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