The sights and smells of hard labor

Published 3:10 pm Monday, September 6, 2010

Growing up in my neighborhood you could tell that is was a holiday from the smell of barbecue that filled the air. You could not help other than to have an appetite after being bombarded with the aroma that only food from the grill would satisfy. Labor Day was the last summer holiday that families came together. If there has been anything close to what a family should look like, it was during these times. Everyone gathered to laugh and reminisce and without a word being spoken, everyone could feel the love that radiated at that moment.

Unfortunately, this Labor Day, there were not many vacations taken, steaks grilled, or laughs shared. For many when we are not working, it is too expensive to take vacations and too pricey to barbecue steaks. You see, work of some kind is necessary for every human being to fulfill his or her potential.

I am convinced that one of the main reasons that human beings were put on this earth was to work. The work that we do is so intertwined with who we are that the absence of work of some sort is to live a purposeless life. If we don’t work, we will never discover our purpose and will continue to be unfulfilled.

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For many of us, the recession that we have experienced over these past few years has had an effect on our perspective about work. Many of us want jobs, but we don’t want to work. That is, we enjoy payday but we don‘t want to expend the energy that it takes to get paid. More energy is spent today being job keepers than workers. Job keepers look at the financial gain, while workers enjoy their job because it is a calling.

The problem with having a job keeper mentality is that one misunderstands the concept of work. Job keepers begin their career with retirement in mind. However, as long as we live, work is necessary in order to possess a sense of purpose. Although free of time constraints, retirement from a specific occupation still leads to work of some sort. As long as we live, there will be work to do. When we stop working, we stop living. Work is too vital for our existence. When we work we have a totally different attitude. There is a gleam in our eye, confidence in our stride, and a sense of purpose for living.

While we may be in a recession for jobs, there should never be a recession for work. It has been said, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” During this season, you have an opportunity for creative work. Let’s get back to work and start living.