While you enjoy that hot dog…

Eugene Debs image courtesy Library of CongressIt’s Labor Day, but what does that mean in the United States, anyway?

Most of us are smart enough to realize by the name of the holiday that it has something to do with the labor movement. And we all like having an eight-hour day, and that our children aren’t expected to work at age five or six, right? That’s something we can get behind!


Let’s not get bogged down in union politics, anyway. Only about 10% of us are unionized in this country. But let’s consider this: not all of us get the day off to celebrate the contribution of workers in this country. A lot of retail, restaurant, and other establishments are still open, and their people still have to work. Worse, many of us who are given the day off won’t really take it.

Be honest with yourself. Will you truly take the day off? Will you shut off your smartphone, or at least disable your work email? Will you make yourself truly unavailable to your job?

Think about this for a minute, and then do yourself a favor in the true spirit of labor day. If you can afford to do so, take the day off, for real. Shut off your phone, or at least take your email off of it. Don’t take work calls. Turn off all the other electronic leashes that tie you to the job – your computer, your tablet, your phone, whatever it is. Then, go to a barbecue. Celebrate yourself and all the other working stiffs in this country, and the work you do, and the fact that you don’t have to do it today.

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