A few may even stop to ponder the meaning and substance of their labor. Whom does it benefit and who might it hurt? Does it build a better world or does it just pay the rent? Does the bigger picture even really matter any more in a world gone mad?
I came to a place three years ago when I asked myself these very questions. After having climbed up through the ranks of corporate America, the view from near the top was not as beautiful as I had imagined. At least I then had the benefit of having lived on both sides of the tracks.
Something in me has always been drawn to a life where work had a meaning beyond the next payday and I believe that is true for many. To be happy and content with your work is a great gift that one gives oneself. There are as many correct paths to that place and ways to live it as there are people. All ways are to be honored if they lead to labors that make a non-destrucive contribution to society as a whole. I found my own way there as we all must do, with the help and encouragement of those who had gone before.
The system of labor that currently holds power in the world offers benefits to many to be sure. I do not begrudge those who by their own hard work, dignity, talents and ability amass wealth if it comes with a clean conscience and peace of mind.
Wealth attained through war, political corruption and utter theft of the resources of others is nothing short of a crime against all humanity.
It is up to each individual to determine what wealth means to them personally. Not all will choose to pursue money or fame but find they are very content to contribute quietly and honestly to the betterment of themselves and others. The equating of material wealth to the value of the person has no place in an intelligent society.
On this Labor Day, give some critical thought to your own labor and how and where it affects the world beyond cashing of your paycheck. Resolve to make an honest effort to educate yourself about where you spend those hard earned wages. Are you supporting murderous regimes when you buy your fiancé that diamond from the Congo? All it takes is a little time and a little effort to make a world of difference to those who suffer for our ignorance every day of their lives.
Don't forget to raise a toast to yourself in honor of the contributions you make that do honor your fellow human beings, our home the Earth and a broader vision of one world laboring together for peace and prosperity with liberty and justice for all.
Peace to All Souls From The Peace Tree