Labor Day Weekend

“14 From the fruit of the mouth one is filled with good things,and manual labor has its reward.” — Proverbs 12:14

Today kicks off Labor Day weekend in the US. It’s the traditional end of summer and beginning of fall. Although around here students have been back in school for almost two weeks.

It’s the last of the “summer fun” days. Boating, camping, and other recreational pursuits.

We very little recognize the labor movement to which this day owes its name. I’m always amazed at how the labor movement–the quest for justice for laboring people from their masters–began with violence, came to some power, then fizzled all in less than a century.

Many gains were made for justice, though. Company owners mostly cannot treat their workers like slaves. That was the case in many industrial and mining areas at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The laws of supply and demand, the workers own political preference for politicians on social issues over economic issues, and maybe even technology weakened the movement.

I know too many “social Darwinists” who look down on working people as sub-human species. As the Proverb says, manual labor has its reward. I have no less respect for the person who makes my car, fixes my plumbing, or builds a house than I do for high-flying  wealthy sales people or corporate managers. In fact, I often find higher ethics among the former than the latter.

When we as humans learn to treat everyone with respect regardless of their talents or economic position, we will begin to adopt the lifestyle that Jesus preached. Justice over power. Respect for God’s creatures.

Go out and enjoy the weekend–even if you don’t live here. 

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