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 I honestly think you should take a look, too. Now don’t just stop at Wikipedia, which provides very little information, but really go deeper into the history of why, how and when Labor Day started.

I’ll tell you, I was a little surprised by what I learned and I don’t want to just tell you in The Daily Fix today. I want you find out for yourself! But, has this holiday just become “Woohoo! I get a three-day weekend…I get a paid day off because it’s a federal holiday” for you? Have you even asked why it’s a federal holiday?

Who’s paying you for Labor Day? Is it the federal government – or your employer – paying you to not work today? As a business owner, I’ve employed 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 the employers are the ones required to pay their workers not to show up that day!”

Interesting thought… and today I’m asking you to make Labor Day about something more than just getting a paid day off. Or maybe you’re working today at the big “Labor Day Weekend Sale” and getting paid double-time for the hours you work.

Although I think it’s cool we set apart this day – and again, go do your own study – to recognize the workers of America, it’s important for us to talk about laboring and recognize the fact laborers were the foundation of our nation. Historically, they helped our nation succeed because we had hard-working people… and those hard hardworking people helped to build a nation.

It’s definitely important to recognize those who labor, and if you are an employer, to realize without these people in our companies, without really good, talented employees, the company pretty well doesn’t exist and will not succeed at the level it should.

Here’s the reality, you have people laboring for you – and for this nation – and those people deserve a day where we recognize 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 laborers and employers and it’s quite sad and disheartening. There seems to be giant world separating them. Instead of there being a heart to serve one another, with 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 an employer attitude of “I’m only going to pay them enough so they don’t quit.”

Unfortunately, both of those mindsets did NOT build our nation and they certainly won’t build this nation to be great, once again. We have to come together, to 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 to not show up for work. And if they do work, they get paid double-time because it’s a federal holiday. And again, the government is not the one paying, 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 overlooks who actually pays you to not work that day.

And, yes, the employer needs to give more recognition, more pats on the back and pay employees for not working on Labor Day. But, at the same time, there needs to be 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 giving me this day off!” And I’m totally guilty of this myself. Every year, when I had a Labor Day holiday working as a teenager, I never once thanked my employer for paying me for that holiday, even though I wasn’t even at work!

And as an employer, I can appreciate what this meant! Having someone on payroll is a major commitment and incredibly expensive, especially in today’s world. But back then, I didn’t even know or recognize Labor Day was about laborers getting that day off as a form of recognition and 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 to ask, how can I build a bridge between these two? We have to look in the mirror and do our part.

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 a 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 a 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 causes 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 ask “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 and recognize my employees 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, planning the healthy foods and meals I’m going to cook for them. Every day, I invest care to make sure everyone is clothed, fed, healthy and in homeschool.

Homeschooling 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. Bottom line, I’m the superintendent, school principal and teacher all wrapped up in one package, as a homeschooling mother.

And it’s not just the mothers, the goes for fathers, too. Fathers labor daily, as well. When he comes home from work, he starts laboring again within the home to fix things or discipline the kids, because mom’s had it up to her eyeballs that day and she needs backup from dad.

So let this Labor Day be a day of recognition for every side of labor. Let’s build a bridge over 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 you do; thank you for the sacrifices 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, for us to become a great nation again.

Take a moment this Labor Day to share this with those who labor in your life and post on your social media sites, or just forward this to 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, tell me below how YOU will make the commitment this holiday to demonstrate the greatness and skills you want to see in your workplace!

Then, please join me today for The Dani Johnson Show to gain my personal insights and inspiration for your life. You can find the show on your TV and radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right here on our website.

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In great faith,

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Tags: appreciation   article   gratitude   Labor Day   The Daily Fix   

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