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.

I’ll tell you, I was a little bit surprised about what I learned. Has this holiday just become “Yay, 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!”

Although I think it’s a cool thing to set apart this day, I feel it is important for us to talk about laboring, and recognize that laborers were the foundation of our nation. Historically, they helped our nation to succeed because we had hard-working people in the workforce. And those hard-working 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 having a heart to serve one another in an environment of 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 help rebuild this nation to be great once again. There needs to be 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 a thought 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 from both sides and that’s the bridge I’m talking about.

And I don’t want to just limit this to the employee/employer category. Because I’m a wife and mother. Every day, I invest thought and care into making sure everyone is clothed, fed, healthy and in home schooling. 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 “kid-herding” that day and she needs backup from dad.

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.

Leave me a comment below and be sure to Like and Share today’s message with your friends, family and coworkers 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!

Don’t forget! Make a note to join us this week at lunchtime on The Dani Johnson Show at 12 pm ET/11 pm CT. I’ll be sharing tips, ideas and skill sets with you all week! You can tune into the show on either your TV or radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right on our website.

In great faith,

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