Drive on the road someone paved for you and say, “Thank You.”
In 1882, the idea for a Labor Day holiday was first introduced to the United States, and it became a Federal holiday in 1887. In those years, hands in the fields or the factories did the majority of labor in the country. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “labor” is defined as:
Physical or mental exertion; work, toil, or the process of childbirth.
What is interesting is that both labor related activities were first mentioned in the Torah.
“To the women He said, ‘I will greatly increase your suffering and your child bearing; in pain shall you bear children.’”—Genesis 3/16
“To Adam He said, ‘By the sweat of your brow, shall you eat bread.”—Genesis 4/2
According to Wikipedia, the highest number of employed people in our country are in the retail sales (24%). Since Labor Day is the second busiest event (after Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving), these hard working women and men work long and exhausting hours for the rest of us to enjoy our days off.
When I started working at the age of 15, I was a laborer—first a toolmaker, then an auto mechanic. (And later, I became an engineer.) You can read more about my humble start in the workforce in my first book, “The Mortgage Game: The 5 C’s and How to Connect Them”.
After we moved to Israel, on my first day of work, I held a welding torch in my hands, and I managed the construction of large steel industrial projects later on. In the United States, my first job was working as a handyman for a general contractor.
All of this was a while ago. Today, many Americans’ jobs are spent at desks in front of computers. Even work done by robots is overseen by people.
I work long hours and it does not feel laborious, while what my colleagues and I do is stressful. The only pain I suffer from is emotional, when I sometimes cannot help my clients get a mortgage.
To whom then does Labor Day apply to?
The holiday belongs to the hardworking women and men who work in the fields to bring food to our table. To the cleaning ladies and men who help us enjoy our lives, or those who work in restaurant kitchens, to feed us after our hard day at work in our offices.
It also belongs to Mothers, who (thanks to the miracles of modern medicine) have less pain, but who really labor to bring beautiful children into our world full with beauty.
As far as the rest of us are concerned, we are just getting a free ride. Enjoy it (and spend money to help improve the economy).
The photo portraits are my humble contribution to the hard working laborers.
- To the woman who controlled traffic in front of our house during the road repair.
- To a gardener I met in Palm Springs.
- To a seller of the San Francisco Chronicle who works on West Portal.
- To a young executive chef in Santa Fe (unfortunately the restaurant closed).
- To a contractor I met on Fillmore Street.
Do not keep me as a secret.
SMILE AND PLEASE SHARE IT WITH A FRIEND