Labor Day- Ask the kids “What do you want to be when you grow up?”   1 comment

Labor Day

It occurred to me that there may be many posts out there that spell out when Labor Day is, what it is and why! What I wonder is are we having meaningful conversations with our kids about what it means to work… I mean the hard facts about making a living. My guess is: “Probably not”. It seems to me that Labor Day is a good time to bring up this subject and see where the conversation leads you.

Several things come to my mind when I think about this subject. One –  My dad was a traveling feed salesman (chicken feed to be exact).  Two –  We were middle class. I know that now… didn’t know it then… just knew we were not rich or poor. My clothes came from JC Penney and Sears at the beginning of the school year, not the trendy expensive boutiques and not the second-hand stores. Three – It took me many years to really understand the phrase “Do something you love and the money will follow”. I asked myself “Did my dad LOVE what he did all those years?”. He was gone from our family from Monday until Friday night most weeks. Did he like that job enough to make the sacrifice worth it? I was re-reminded of the same question some years later when I was married to a Naval Officer who had to serve many long months away from our family as a part of his job. And again I ask, “Is the sacrifice worth it?”.

These are trying economic times. Many people who are well qualified are, in some cases, doing whatever they have to do to live. So maybe this “Do you love your job?” question is a moot point. But I still ask it. I believe that a person’s life work says a lot about them. Look around and see if you agree. Ask yourself: “Do I love my job? Do you feel that the work ethic that you show your kids is one that they can emulate later in their lives? I can say with a resounding “YES” that my father taught a strong work ethic by his example. He met a challenge head on and always with a smile.

Here’s a good exercise to do if you want to initiate a meaningful conversation with your children of any age. Have them make a collage themed “What I want to be when I grow up”. This will require some magazines (that you don’t mind being cut up),  safety scissors, poster board and child safe glue. You may be surprised at some of the professions and occupations that your kids are considering. I believe children today are taught by our society that they can be anything they want to be! I applaud that theory!

Here are some facts about Labor Day—the first Monday in September—celebrates the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of America.

The History of Labor Day:

The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York[1] It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.[2] The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair, which it had been observed to commemorate.[3] All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.

Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States which takes place the first Monday in September. The inception of the holiday dates back to the late 1800’s when labor unions formed. It was celebrated by the government as a day to recognize the accomplishments of the American worker. Now, it signifies a day without labor where government entities and many private employers allow their workforces to take a day off with pay. As the holiday evolved, many Americans celebrate Labor Day with parties and parades; as it signifies the last day of summer and the start of a new school year.

Labor Day 2011 falls on September 5, 2011.

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Posted September 3, 2011 by dsgnmom in Uncategorized

One response to “Labor Day- Ask the kids “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

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  1. Pingback: The same Labor Day struggles now take place elsewhere « Fair For All

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