The Labor Movement

Published 1:37 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2021

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As I write this on Tuesday morning, I reflect upon yesterday’s federal holiday, Labor Day. Although, the history of the holiday emphasizes organized labor or unions, to me, it should celebrate all Americans who work.

Growing up on a farm in South Georgia, I was never a part of a specific union, but I realize that I was a part of a labor movement, which is almost synonymous with unions. My involvement in a labor movement went something like this. When daddy knocked on my door to awaken me and let me know that it was time to get ready to labor in the fields, I had better put some movement in my body. That was my experience with a labor movement.

The success of our nation can be attributed to many things. One of the greatest reasons for our nation’s prosperity would be our vast natural resources. Throughout our history our nation has benefitted from great forests, plentiful fresh water, fertile plains, a sustenance of varied wildlife, and abundant and different kinds of energy. We’re a blessed nation, for sure.

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We also have been a hardworking people, not so much now as in the past, but even now, the work ethic of many Americans is strong and worthy of a day for celebrating. We should be proud of the millions of our countrymen and women who get up just about every day and do their jobs.

I’ve mentioned this before, but there seems to be plenty of jobs available these days. Hopefully, since the extension of the unemployment benefits has expired, as of this week, many people will be getting back to work. I understood the need to help last year as we were trying to understand this Covid question, but I think the extension at the beginning of this year was unnecessary and has hurt businesses as they have tried to hire people.

It’s not a good thing when one can make more money not working than they can working. It was a kind of double-edged sword. We were spending money that was unnecessary and that we had to borrow. It also prevented many businesses from being able to run their businesses at full capacity. It will be interesting to see how quickly we return to a fully functioning economy.

Working is a necessity for a healthy body, mind, and spirit. An athlete has to work hard to get “in shape.” I would say that the American workforce may be somewhat “out of shape” and that’s not good for the psyche of a nation and I think getting back to work will be good for the health of America.

One more thing about Labor Day. It has always signaled the end of summer, just as Memorial Day serves to bring in the summer. I don’t know how you think, but could the year have flown by any quicker? It’s almost 75% over and it seems like only yesterday that it was beginning.

I know that school has already begun, but, back in the day, this would be the week when we would be finishing our summer vacations and getting ready to begin our new school year. There would be a new feeling in the air and high school football games on Friday night would be starting. We would have new school clothes and new classes with different teachers, but thankfully, we would be returning to our old friends.

Yes, Labor Day might have been created to celebrate workers, but the holiday meant getting back to a normal time. I hope that our new and normal times will be right around the corner from this year’s Labor Day.