Where did that summer go? It’s Labor Day morning as I write this and my head is spinning trying to figure out how the summer sped past so quickly. Mind you, I’m not going to miss the hot and humid days of summer; in fact, September marks the beginning of my favorite time of year: Fall!
Growing up in the North, the day after Labor Day always marked the beginning of the school year. I’ve heard that in the South, the school year is skewed to earlier closing in the spring and starting in the fall to accommodate the need for kids to work in the peach orchards and packing sheds but I’ve never gotten that from an authoritative source. If any of you readers have some solid information on that I’d love to get your feedback. Anyway, as kids we always looked at Labor Day with the mixed emotions of the end of summer freedom on the one hand and the opportunity to renew friendships of our school friends on the other.
But Labor Day is much more than the beginning of the academic year whether you start before or after the holiday. It is a recognition that no institution, whether business, academia, government, etc., can exist without “Doers” (Labor). Healthy societies and institutions need the right mix of visionaries, managers and labor to carry out the mission. If the mix is improperly weighted to one side or the other the organization will be out of balance just like a badly balanced wheel on your car; in the extreme, it can shake the car to pieces. Same with an organization.
I like to think that it’s with this realization that President Grover Cleveland signed into law our current Labor Day as a national holiday six days after the disastrous Pullman strike in Chicago in 1894 that left workers dead at the hands of the US Army and US Marshalls. In reality, I’m pretty sure it was more about politics than ideology. Nevertheless, I’m glad we have a national holiday to recognize our laborers for all they do to make our lives happier and healthier.
In fact, I tried to emphasize that this morning in my breakfast prayer so that my granddaughters would understand that somebody had to do a lot of work to grow and transport our food before we could put it on the table. Little things like that are so easy to take for granted aren’t they?
I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day holiday and that you’re looking forward to Fall as much as I am.
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org