Thoughts for Labor Day

Happy Sunday, HaQ readers. It is a beautiful September day here and the middle of Labor Day weekend. I like to imagine that many of you are enjoying an extended weekend with friends and family and fun things to do. That one day of extra breathing space is so wonderful that in the rush to “take advantage” of the extra free time (so that it is no longer free – Oh. Wait…) I sometimes forget what this holiday was meant to acknowledge: the contributions of all who work to our shared prosperity.

2014-08-04 17.52.59
Bridge over the Ohio River – built with labor and bravery

The enormity of this hit me when I started thinking about just how much I benefit from the work of others. For each of us – however hard you work – all that we’re able to accomplish is underpinned by the work of many others. I live in a house built by my neighbor and the contractors he hired. I’m lucky in that – most of the time, you never know those whose work enriches your lives. I drive a car designed and built many miles away by dozens of people I will never meet. I drive on roads built by people who do grueling work in almost every kind of weather and sometimes endure glares and rude gestures to do it. I read books written by people who shared their thoughts, wear clothing made by people who shared their artistry, eat food grown by people who share their care and sweat on behalf of people – of me – who they will never meet. That is, frankly, amazing.

It is a wonder of the modern economy that I have access to thoughts that wouldn’t have occurred to me, to whole stores full of fresh food, to fuel for my car, to roads to drive on, and even to toys for my pets, and to repair services for things I can’t fix (Plumbing? Please! Let’s not go there; I’ve been there – it’s not pretty.)  And all of it happens without effort on my part. I am grateful for this twice over – I benefit from the work of others, and I benefit because I don’t have to do that work and can focus on my own. Our world runs on the contributions of all.

So – in honor of Labor Day, two thoughts:

  1. No matter what your work is, you have contributed to the lives of others in ways you will never know. Thank you.
  2. Every day your life is made fuller, richer, and easier by the work of many you will never meet. Think about the next working person you see and imagine the gap if someone did not do that job. Isn’t that incredible?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, a moment of gratitude, and good work in the week ahead. Cheers!

Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

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