I don’t think there’s much argument that the meaning of holidays and occasions, historically and personally, change over time. With that in mind, I’m giving myself a little latitude to just muse and ponder what “labor” means to me now as I approach my 71st birthday later next month.
The effort itself, to rationalize my thoughts and feeling and even my memories, into words, is I think, itself a form of labor 😊 requiring effort. Effort to formulate words that convey and fit my intent. Effort to link my thoughts to my emotional memories doing construction work from age 12, learning English starting in Kindergarten, learning to lean into my discipline to continue when something needed being done – either work I was being paid to (commission or by the hour), or work I wanted to do of my own desire (art, fitness), and maybe even work making myself make the effort to be a better person.
Labor seems to me now, to involve or have involved effort – mental, physical, emotional, spiritual – in any combinations or degrees of mix.
Since that would probably then include any of the so called lowliest “laborer job” to the the also so called highest creator of jobs, plus individually independent physical/emotional/mental/spiritual efforts meant to mostly only please oneself – I’d say most of human existence, and most of human activity, whether pleasurable or profitable or not, is a form of labor.
Something is produced. A physical good, and even emotional or mental or spiritual goods.
But does that mean everything we as people do then is a form of labor?
I don’t think so.
Some I think, are partial labors – like when I’m being creative to a point where time and distractions are non-existent, and I’m only reminded of time or other things going one, because I’m become tired, or stiff, or thirsty, or frustrated. A roadblock or necessity demanding, if I wish to continue say, painting, will require effort and labor on my part.
And some, like moments of abandonment of laughter or love, transcend our sense of labor.
Essentially then, I suppose I’m again saying, in another mish-mash way, lol! That everyone who participates in life, and finds an effort is required – whether to take one’s 1st steps, work with the earth, give birth, works with emotions, works with their mind, works with their hearts – is a laborer.
Which just brings us back to the fact that we’re all in this together ❤️
Whether someone else wants to include us or not, lol!
But that does also mean, that those of us who’ve lost our way, such as through fear or despondency, become paralyzed, are not participating in human labor, and should be reached out to, whether directly or through prayers or donations or such, to help re-include our fellow beings. We can labor to do what we can 💕
My Google search for Labor Day quotes has a lot of great results.
The one I ended up going on all the way through (30 quotes) was Town & Country).
My favorite of the group is –
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the lines between work and play.”https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/g21950072/labor-day-quotes/?slide=6
– Arnold J. Toynbee
Very closely followed by –
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity.”https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/g21950072/labor-day-quotes/?slide=14.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
And it may be that latter distinction, of labor that carries dignity, also carries and uplifts humanity, and that may be the fine line between true labor and self-indulgence. And while true that a child is often self-indulgent, it’s – i believe – a necessity of growing up.
Thus, referring back to my favorite quote of the group of 30 in the article, Toynbee’s quote of blurring work and play, his idea of our supreme accomplishment, may be the qualifier that dignifies the joy of childhood into the highest we can hope for as adults – creating work and thought and activity that’s truly, a love of labor ♥️
Happy Labor Day everyone! Like Christmas and Easter and so many other wonderful holidays, may these holidays be more and more reminders of commitment to ideals, vs a reminder of what we’ve forgotten.
Meanwhile, lol, when we do forget, thank goodness for the holidays! 😊
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Thanks again, everyone! 😊