EVERY Day is "Labor" Day.
When Labor Day was coming up a few weeks ago, I found I didn't really know (or remember) the history of the holiday. So I looked it up.
"In 1894, Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a federal holiday after a failed attempt to break up a railroad strike. Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers."
Good for you, Grover Cleveland. After all, EVERY American can use an extra day off. We take far less leisure time than any other country with similar economics.
Just one issue left to address :: What is "LABOR" and who creates or influences our definition of labor?
We celebrate/honor/and take time off for government work, or white collar work. But how many of us are either celebrating those who work with their hands and the earth, or doing it ourselves? Has anyone looked back -- waaaaay back --- in history and seen that women have been the central figure of "labor" for centuries, across cultures, and across continents?
Maybe part of our loss is not that we need additional vacation days to consume too many margaritas, or to pay for a plane ticket, a new leather jacket, or a night out, but the fact that we have lost our connection to self, the earth, and our natural state of being.
Connect to the real. The solid. The esoteric. Let go of the ethereal for a minute. Be in someone's space. Talk to a stranger and find out what they are doing with their time. Watch people (in an observant way, not a creepy one). Lose track of time while you gaze at a blue sky and try to "move" clouds with some young kids.
Now that we live in the modern world, women are still experts at labor. Life/work balance. Home + kids + work + love. Reconnecting. Caring for each other, and increasingly, for things on a piece of land. And even the "new" movements like sustainability, urban homesteading, foraging forests, community-sourced at-home school, etc. are born of historical feminine perspectives.
We had the Reconstruction Era, followed by the Progressive Era, the Age of Industry, and most recently the Dot Com Era. These were all male-centric - oriented toward male dominant thinking, organization, and development. Time is changing and females are rising -- in purchasing, providing, supplying, and organizing. Brilliant and progressive men are softening, coming to a new space with their thinking, creating, developing, integrating play into work. Large businesses are getting it. Communities are getting it.
Women have always developed the standard for labor, for structure. Women have literally given birth to connecting the thinking space with the connected space. Putting service with industry. Underscoring caring and community. This rise in feminine influence is a natural next step for the world.
Instead of participating in another one of those Facebook surveys or playing Candy Crush next time you have a minute to spare, spend some time working on a re-definition of "labor".
* How does work meet bliss?
* How can a product, good or service really "serve" you?
* What parts of your life are not cared for by the products you patronize, buy, and and consume?
* What brands help you become part of a tribe and participate in the creation and development?
Go back to the beginning.
"Labor" at what's worth it, even if you only have a little time to commit to the effort. Start to shift the paradigm, change your perspective, and maybe even change someone else's.
EVERY day is LABOR day. Contact the wisest female you know for insight :)
"Home Grown" by Ben Hewitt
"Human Bacon" by Justin Foster
"Why She Buys" by Bridget Brennen