In praise of those who work
Labor Day is our time for picnics, a swim and hanging out with any available family or friends. Seth Godin's website today, however, made me ponder the meaning of work. My forebearers worked, really hard. Grandpa Larson (my mom's dad) came to the USA as a little boy from Sweden with his mom. His education was truncated by the family's need for money. So he worked in a pop-bottle plant on the production line till he got employed by Henry Ford Motors to lathe wooden spokes for Model T's and A's. All day long, 5 days a week in one position at a lathe. That's work. He left Ford Motors to become the campus carpenter at North Park College (before it was a University). His job was to fix what students broke, for 20 years!
Grandpa Johnson (my dad's dad) was a child immigrant as well. He left school after the 8th grade to make and fit barrel staves into wooden barrels. Then he got a job on the Soo Line Rail Road and worked his way up through the ranks, till he retired as an engineer. These men worked with their hands and their bodies. Their hands were rough and calloused from tools and splinters, harsh weather and solvents.
My work is wtih my mind and mouth, with my ears and heart. Yes, it can get tiring and exhausting, but nothing like those who stand on hot highways pouring concrete or putting tiles on roofs or repairing broken engines. I don't have to risk the danger that fire fighters face or the stres of air traffic controllers. My easier life is blessed by the hard work of my family and all those around me. Bless those who labor.