Happy Labor Day! A couple of years ago I realized I didn’t even know the history of Labor Day. Obviously, it had to do with workers in some way. But I wasn’t really sure and it caused me to do a bit of historical study on how Labor Day came about and honestly I think you should take a look, too. Now don’t just look at Wikipedia, which gives you very little information, but really go deeper into the history of how and when Labor Day started.
I’ll tell you, I was a little bit surprised about what I learned and I don’t want to just tell you in The Daily Fix today, but have you find out for yourself. But, has this holiday just become “Yahoo, I get a three-day weekend…I get a paid day off because it’s a federal holiday” for you? But have you ever asked the question why is this a federal holiday?
Is the federal government paying me for Labor Day or is my employer paying me not to work today? As a business owner, I’ve been employing people for two decades and just a couple of years ago I actually asked myself, “Hey wait a minute here, who said it should be a federal holiday? And they say it’s a federal holiday but it’s the employers who are required to pay their workers not to show up that day!”
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This is an interesting thought and today I want to ask you to make Labor Day about something more important than just getting a day off while still getting paid. Or maybe you’re working today at the big “Labor Day Weekend Sale” and getting paid double-time for the hours you are working.
Although I think it’s a cool thing we set apart this day – and again, you go do your own study – to recognize the workers of America, there is more than laboring out there in the workforce. I feel it is important for us to talk about laboring, and recognize that laborers were the foundation of our nation.
Historically, they were helping our nation to succeed because we had hard-working people in the workforce. And those hard hardworking people helped to build a nation.
It’s absolutely important to recognize those who labor and if you are an employer, to realize that without these people in our companies, without really good, talented employees, the company pretty well doesn’t exist and is not going to succeed at the level it should.
Here’s the reality, you have people laboring for you — and for this nation — and those people need to have a day where they are recognized for their efforts and today is a great day to make that a reality.
But, I look at what’s happening in the world today between the laborers and the employers and it is very sad and quite disheartening. There seems to be giant world separating them. Instead of there being a heart to serve one another and mutual respect and recognition, there is this “I’m only going to work as hard as I need to so I don’t get fired” employee viewpoint and the employer attitude of “I’m only going to pay them enough so they don’t quit.”
And, unfortunately, both of those mindsets are not the mindsets that build our nation and they certainly won’t build this nation to be great once again. We have to come together and build a bridge of mutual honor and respect between employer and employee.
Let me give you an example. Labor Day means paying employees a full day’s wages not to show up to work. And if they do work, they get paid double-time because it’s a federal holiday. And again, the government’s not the one paying for it, the employers pay for it! But it seems like there’s almost a sense of entitlement from the laborer with, “Hey, I’m entitled to this day off because it’s a federal holiday” but not thinking about who is actually paying you to not work that day.
And, yes, the employer needs to give more recognition, more pats on the back and to pay employees for not working on Labor Day. But, at the same time, there needs to be that mutual respect going both ways and that’s the bridge I’m talking about.
The laborer needs to honor the employer and say “Thank you so much for making this investment into me and thank you so much for having that day off!” And I’m totally guilty of this myself. Every year when I had a Labor Day holiday in my jobs as a teenager, I never once thanked my employer for paying me for that holiday, even though I wasn’t even at work!
And now that I’m an employer I can appreciate what this meant, having someone on payroll is a major commitment and it’s incredibly expensive especially in today’s world. But back then, I didn’t even know or recognize that Labor Day was about the laborers getting that day off as a form of recognition and a form of appreciation.
So I think we’ve got to look at ourselves today. Look around at who we work with, whether it’s as an employer or an employee, and stop for a moment and ask how can I build a bridge between these two? We have to do our part and look in the mirror.
Instead of concentrating on the bad attitudes I so often hear from my clients, with employees saying “I hate my boss… My boss is so hard to work with” or employers saying “My employees drive me crazy; they just won’t follow directions!” we’ve got to look for a way to increase our skill sets so we don’t drive each other crazy. Or, even worse, we get to the place where we don’t want to work with each other. So it’s on both sides and I tell each of them, you’ve got to look in the mirror for the source of the problem.
If I’ve got someone frustrating me in my office, I look in the mirror; I have to look at what am I doing to communicate with them in a way that is causing them not to understand me. There must be something I’m doing to cause this reaction from them.
So if you’re the employee, it’s the same thing. If you’re saying, “My boss is being rude and mean to me and not recognizing me” then look in the mirror and say what could I learn to get more recognition or to please them or to serve them? And it’s the same for employers. What can I do to serve my employees better, to recognize them better, to let them know how important they really are to the business, to the team and to our clients?
And I don’t want to just limit this to the employee/employer category. Because I’m a wife and mother, I labor for my family every single day keeping up the house, figuring out the healthy foods and meals I’m going to cook for them. Every day, I invest care in making sure everyone is clothed, fed, healthy and in home schooling.
Home schooling is a real chore with a crazy amount of hours, from picking the curriculum, planning the schedule for the day, figuring out the grades and the list goes on and on. The bottom line is I’m the superintendent, school principal and school teacher all wrapped up in one category as a home schooling mother.
And it’s not just the mothers, the same goes for the fathers, too. Fathers labor daily, as well. When he comes home from work, he starts again laboring within the home to fix things or discipline the kids because mom’s had it up to her eyeballs with too much disciplining that day and she needs a backup from dad.
So let this Labor Day be a day of recognition of every side of labor. Let’s build a bridge in the gigantic cavern that may separate the leaders and the followers or the employees and the employers or the mothers and the fathers and the children. Today everyone needs to remember if anybody has labored for you in any way, this is a day to say, “Thank you!”
Or, if someone has given you the opportunity to labor on their behalf think about the number of other things they could be doing with their resources! Say, “Thank you! Thank you for giving me that day off. Thank you for all that you do; thank you for the sacrifices that you make to create jobs for all of us.”
This Labor Day…let’s build a bridge. Let’s turn this holiday back into what it really should be: a celebration recognizing people who are building a nation. Every mother, every father is helping to build a nation; every employee, every employer is helping to build a nation. And, we’ve got impart the right attitude, the 2% attitude of absolute gratitude in order for us to become that great nation once again.
Take a moment this Labor Day to share it with those who labor in your life and post on your social media sites, or just forward this to your friends, family and co-workers to let them know how thankful you are to have their “labors” in your life! And if you’re looking to bring excellence to your labors, make the commitment this holiday to demonstrate the greatness and skills you want to see in your workplace!
Please don’t forget that starting on this week on Wednesday, September 4th, the Spiritual Equipping Broadcast will be back and live on your TV and radio! Be sure to join us for our first TV broadcast! And as always, tune in for The Dani Johnson Show LIVE this coming Sunday night at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT.
In great faith,
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