Over the last 121 years, Labor Day has evolved from parades and political speeches into a demarcation of the end of summer. It is the last day on which Southern ladies can wear white, and it is the last three-day weekend of the season, capping the festivities of Memorial Day and Independence Day. It is a time for barbecues and hot dogs and beer – a last summer fling before the onset of the rigors of winter and the doldrums of the school year.
But Labor Day, to the few Americans who still work for a living, continues to represent a day to celebrate the dignity and dedication of labor. Too many Americans, at both ends of the economic scale, have come to consider labor a demeaning occupation. But those who disdain getting their hands dirty and those who fester in the cesspools of welfare are missing one of greatest joys of life.
Few things in life are more satisfying than the feeling of accomplishment one gets from having built their own bookcase or baked their own cake. Our ancestors did not evolve the highly tuned work ethic they passed on to us to be squandered in the leisure of opulence or the lassitude of dependency. They evolved it to push the human race to the next level of excellence, and we squander it to the detriment of not only ourselves but of the race.
Let us resolve, therefore, on this 121st celebration of labor to rededicate ourselves to the accomplishment of our purpose and our destiny as humans. Whether it's mowing our own lawn or volunteering to serve hash in a homeless soup kitchen or simply getting a job and breaking the cycle of welfare dependence, we all need to engage in a little labor. It's our birthright and it is our responsibility.
Happy Labor Day.