Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | September 6, 2017

Thanks to Those Whose Work We Take for Granted

Photo by tanner sheltry on Unsplash, The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, tools and gloves

Photo by tanner sheltry on Unsplash

Labor Day has passed, and we’re well into September. My husband and I spent the holiday with our children and grandchildren. Our son-in-law is a stellar barbecue chef, so we had a delicious dinner. It was a wonderful day, but our son-in-law’s time with the family was limited because he had to work. Nowadays, holidays aren’t holidays for everyone.

The meaning of many holidays seems to have changed over the years too. The first things many people associate with Memorial Day and Labor Day are the beginning and end of summer, not the reason the holidays were established.

I enjoyed our Labor Day celebration, but I admit I have mixed feelings about the fact that fewer and fewer workers seem to get time off on the day dedicated to them. I feel bad for those who have to work on any holiday. On the other hand, I was really glad that stores were open this past Labor Day Monday.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash, The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, open sign

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

You see, on Sunday night the intense itching of an allergic rash on my calf kept me from getting much sleep, despite my slathering cortisone cream on it all night. So I went to the store on Labor Day to get something else that might help. While I waiting in line to pay for the anti-itch gel, I reflected on all those employees in the store (and elsewhere) who had to work on this holiday designed to honor workers and give them a day off. I made sure to thank the cashier as she checked me out.

I have to say that I don’t think it’s wrong to see Labor Day as the end of summer or a day to celebrate with family and friends. However, we also need to take time to remember the reason behind the holiday and appreciate all those workers who make our lives possible — not just our daily, personal lives, but about our professional or avocational lives also.

Think of it like this: imagine yourself standing in the sunlight on the top of a pyramid, a pyramid whose blocks represent the work of many others that allows you to bask in that sunlight.

We writers do a lot of our creative work in solitude. Sometimes we feel totally alone, pounding out words to create a story, sequestered in our writing cubbyholes. We network with other writers and go to events and conferences so we don’t feel so isolated, and our fellow writers are generous in offering their help and support.

It’s not only other writers (and cooperative families) who enable us to do what we do. We rely on the support of hoards of other people, most of whom we’ll never know.

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash, The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, computer

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

When I look at my computer, my mind boggles at the thought of how many people’s work made it possible for me to use that magnificent device. People designed the computer, the monitor, the keyboard, the printer, the modem, etc. People crafted the parts; people shipped them. Other people assembled them, tested them, and shipped the final products to wholesalers and retailers. People stocked them on shelves and sold them (not to mention the people who cleaned the stores, and so on). Then people designed the software …

I could go on, but you get the idea. My ability to write my stories on the computer has been made possible by the work of a multitude of other people. If I tried to list all those who make my life and my writing possible and easier, I don’t think I could do it. I’d probably miss as many as I listed.

Too often we take the work and support of others for granted. Let’s take a few moments this Labor Day week to recognize how much we depend on others, to be grateful for their work and, whenever possible, to say thanks.

So, to all those whose work I depend on, thank you! I really do appreciate your efforts.

Photo by Andrew Walton on Unsplash, The Author Chronicles, J. Thomas Ross, charcoal fire

Photo by Andrew Walton on Unsplash

What do you think about when you think of Labor Day? The end of summer? Barbecues? Picnics? Getting together with friends and family?

Did you work on Labor Day?

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