Its Labor Day. The day nobody works…thats so odd. Shouldn’t we call it National Picnic Day, or Non-Labor day? Any-whoo… It gave me a chance to check out where Labor Day came from and why we actually ‘celebrate’ [ I use that term loosely] the day.
At the turn of the century the Central Labor Union, based out of New York City, decided to create a day to celebrate the social and labor accomplishments of American citizens. This took place around the turn of the century, about the same time Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day Lewis squared off for control of NYC.
So now you know the thrilling history of another American holiday that gives us all a legitimate excuse to stay up late, and sleep in late. It actually got me thinking about our work ethic, here in the states, and how generation X & Y views all it life in general.
We have become a nation of reapers. You know, like reaping and sowing. A nation designed not around work ethic and grindin’ in out, but a nation of consumers. It is so pervasive in our society that we nay not even realize it.
Think about all the things are grandfather’s generation built. How about the generation before that?
100 years ago when Labor Day was started, we live on dirt streets, rode horses, had wooden sidewalks, walked most places, sat on our front porches, grew much of our own food— we lived radically different lives.
No central heat or air.
No fast food.
Life 100 years ago was not oriented around buying things. Life was not perfect, and I’m not saying lets go back to the ‘good ole days!’. I am thinking about how different we thought, and saw life, and interacted with each other. All of the things we consume in life had yet to be created for us. People had yet to sow all the things we reap today.
I have no problem with reaping. No problem with consuming. However, when are lives become oriented around consuming we miss out on the deeper purposes of life. When we become a nation of consumers– history teaches us [ go read Roman history] that trouble is around the way.
I don’t even need to argue that we have reached this point. We are a culture that revolves around consumption, and entertainment.
We have become a culture of reaper– not sowers.
We ride trains we did not dream of, on tracks we did not build, we live in homes we did not make, eat food we do not grow, walk on sidewalks we did not lay, congregate in churches we dont bother to tithe to,…
We reap all the things others have sown–other generations, other lands, other people groups.
We reap and they sow.
What will we sow? What will be the Labor we leave to the world?
In 100 years will there be anything left for future generations to reap?
Farmers know that if you continue to reap without sowing..you soon will go hungry. It’s common sense to them. Perhaps we have lost that perspective. Perhaps we are the proverbial frog in the heated kettle pot?
I stepped onto a train earlier today–and I remembered people like my grandfather who have built things for my benefit. I watched others ride along, wondering if anyone else thinks like me. Anyone else feel like Rome, on the precipice of serious trouble, as we cheer on our gladiators, and eat our hot dogs.
What will I leave for others?
What will be my Labor left for others?
We can only reap without sowing for so long…
Talk to you soon…gotta head to a picnic –you know– free eats.