"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

Laboring


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Laboring…..

Labor Day has been celebrated in the US since 1882 and was made a national holiday in 1894 to unify union workers and celebrate the accomplishments of workers across the nation. North of the 49th parallel, Canadians added a ‘u”, and Labour Day started in 1872 with a “nine-hour movement” to show support for striking workers. Whichever country you are reading this in, Labo(u)r Day is meant to be a celebration of the work of so many who make these countries two of the greatest in the world. Today’s M5T pauses to reflect on the importance of work, no matter how you spell it.

1. Have To or Get To?

Do you have to work, or do you get to work? Think about that for a moment – the difference is significant. I always wonder at those that complain about the work they do. How sad it must be to have to wake up each Monday morning dreading the 40 plus hours you will toil this week. We thankfully live in a country where you can choose to undertake whatever type of work you want to. Whatever your situation, if you are gainfully employed by someone or running your own company, embrace your role, stay positive, thankful, and productive in all that you do.

2. Purpose

The most fulfilling work is work that has purpose. Work that allows you to make a contribution and realize achievements. Work with purpose is a calling; a mission. Recognize the fruits of your labor, the leadership that you provide others, and that your work matters. As your scribe pens this M5T, there are thousands of First Responders preparing for the anticipated devastation from hurricane Dorian as it nears the Florida coast. These men and women have a purpose that can mean the difference of life and death for others. Hundreds of power workers are heading south on 95 and staging at Daytona Speedway, ready to respond as needed. May God grant them all safety this coming week.

3. Creating

No matter what type of work you do, there is always room for creativity. Change your perspective. Question the status quo. Find other options to solve problems. Seek out inspiration. Be brave in your convictions. Be a catalyst for change and improvement. Find ways, even small ways, to be innovative... daily. Communicate, streamline, and always create with quality.

4. Food

More burgers, dogs and beer are consumed today than on any other day of the year, with the exception of the 4th of July and Memorial Day. Working with some agriculture clients has given me a new perspective on the importance of farming labor. Farmers are some of the hardest working, optimistic people that I have met in my life. Each year farmers plant crops knowing that their compensation is dependent upon two factors that are outside of their control; weather and market prices. Two factors that mean the difference between exhilaration or heartache. The economic impact of farmers is massive. Farmers provide jobs from farming, processing and transportation. Industries thrive from farm equipment, feed, seeds, chemicals and fertilizer. The labor of farmers feeds us and clothes us and is critical to a reliable food supply for our nation and the world. Farms are largely family run, passed on through generations. Raise a pint today to farmers in honor and celebration of their labor as you enjoy the food you put on the grill.

5. Significance

Of your labor. I’ll leave you today with a fifth point to ponder from the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’ No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

On this Labor Day Monday, let’s take a moment to be thankful for the legacy of those who toiled before us to make this a better world; celebrate the labors of those around us, and reflect the value of our own labors.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com