Let's Talk About Labor Day
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Let's Talk About Labor Day

It should be called "Labor of Love" Day

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Let's Talk About Labor Day
Shutterstock

What does Labor Day mean to you?

It might mean the banning of white clothes, or cookouts at Aunt Mildred's house; the beginning of a new school year, or a day off; the possibilities are quite endless, but what often goes underappreciated is the significance the day itself represents under the surface.

The official definition of Labor Day is for it to represent a "day honoring the social and economic achievements of American workers." Okay, we do have an extraordinary amount of people working a wide range of jobs every day, and we appreciate them, but if I can suggest we go deeper, what does that mean on a personal level? What does it really mean for someone to work hard? To make money, yes, but usually to spend that money on those they love, or a way for them to find joy.

Often the introspective type, I was touched when I realized it is really a day for giving thanks to those who work extra hours to support their children's next field trip, a friend who has hit a rough patch, or take that second job to give their parents the loving care they need in old age.

They say retrospect is 20/20, which means it is always easiest to see the lessons after they've happened already. Well, this past Monday was Labor Day, and I want to focus on how we can more fruitfully celebrate this so often overlooked day of grace in the future, or help you to reflect on how you spent your Labor Day this year.

I want to take this opportunity to offer my gratitude to those who contribute generous amounts of their time, energy, and effort towards working for those who cannot.

In this case, specifically, parents. Some of the most beautiful stories for me are those of parents who put aside their own needs to practice unconditional love.

There are an infinite variety of parental relationships, and of course, there are those who have parental figures that are not their biological relatives, live with government-appointed guardians, are adopted, or live in a single parent household with a stepfamily; the list of possibilities is relatively endless.

Labors of love can sprout anywhere, but if you're having a hard time finding one to boost your overarching hope for humanity after watching the most recent Trump campaign speech (if you can call it that), you won't have to look much further than your own home or another set of parents working overtime to give their children their best chance.

So, next time your mom travels across the state to work some extra hours, or Dad asks you to babysit your siblings while he is at the office, Aunt Lou can't make it to graduation due to a work function, or Grandpa Jed doesn't call you on your birthday since he's out on the tractor all day, don't hesitate to remind them just how grateful you are to have hardworking, selfless individuals like them in your life. Whether they're doing it to support you or not, it's highly likely they're pushing through to help someone other than themselves.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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