La­bor day

The Covington News - - OPINION -

We have suc­ceeded in de­stroy­ing the mean­ing of our hol­i­days. Christ­mas is not about cel­e­brat­ing the birth of Je­sus any­more; we’ve turned it into a cel­e­bra­tion of re­ceiv­ing (and grip­ing when it’s not what we wanted).

Thanks­giv­ing is no longer about giv­ing thanks. It’s about eat­ing too much with­out a word of thanks to any­one, in­clud­ing the cook.

La­bor Day was orig­i­nally set aside as a day to honor work­ers, par­tic­u­larly union work­ers.

They still have La­bor Day pa­rades up north, but they’re not the big events they once were.

That word, la­bor, is de­fined by Web­ster’s Dic­tionary as “phys­i­cal or men­tal ex­er­tion.”

Phys­i­cal ex­er­tion has never been my cup of tea. That’s why I did not choose that ca­reer path. Of course, if you read this drivel on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, you can see that I also live on an un­paved street of men­tal ex­er­tion.

But I have a great ad­mi­ra­tion for those who are good at both forms of la­bor.

I was eat­ing lunch with a friend of mine the other day when a group of guys who work for an elec­tric util­ity came in. It was one of those days when it was 100 de­grees in the shade and th­ese guys had been out there in a bucket truck do­ing some kind of elec­tri­cal work.

I was glad that there were guys who would go up in a fiber­glass bucket wear­ing big, thick in­su­lated gloves and would do what needs to be done to keep the lights and, most im­por­tantly, the air-con­di­tion­ing on.

I also went the other day to a place where they ware­house frozen chicken. Inside the big freezer, the main area stays at a less than pleas­ant 10 be­low zero.

Imag­ine go­ing to work in your T-shirt on a 90 de­gree morn­ing and you walk inside and it is lit­er­ally 100 de­grees colder.

Th­ese folks wear long han­dles and parkas at work in Au­gust.

I could go on all day about all kinds of peo­ple who work hard. You’ll find them in kitchens, garages, man­u­fac­tur­ing plants, hos­pi­tals, pub­lic safety de­part­ments and count­less other places where hard work is rou­tine.

There are many of them will be work­ing on La­bor Day be­cause their job de­mands it.

And lets not for­get that there are hun­dreds of thou­sands of our brothers and sis­ters who are on duty in places like Iraq, where the high tem­per­a­ture is about 115 and the low, if you can call it that, is about 90. They will def­i­nitely be la­bor­ing this La­bor Day.

We don’t have to look too far around us to see the fruits of some­one else’s la­bor. We don’t think about it when we crank the car, reach over and turn on the light or go to the store and find a plen­ti­ful sup­ply of food.

So, the point of all this is to ask that you might take one brief mo­ment on this La­bor Day week­end and be thank­ful for what some­one’s work has meant to you this week.

Folks toil ev­ery­day, some of it back­break­ing some of it mind stretch­ing, and it makes a dif­fer­ence for us all.

So here’s to you, the toil­ing work­ers, for your ef­forts to­day and ev­ery­day. We might not say it, but down deep we should all ap­pre­ci­ate the ef­forts.

I re­ally don’t do much, but in or­der to get a col­umn to you there are ded­i­cated folks who edit it, print it, bun­dle it and de­liver it.

I’ve got the easy job, thanks to all of them.


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