The Reason We Labor

Submitted by Chris Conly on Mon, 09/02/2019 - 08:18

Monday September 2, 2019 will be the 125th anniversary of Labor Day being celebrated as a national holiday.  For 125 years we have celebrated the achievements of the American worker by shutting down thousands of businesses on the first Monday of September.  Am I the only one that thinks not going to work is a strange way to celebrate our achievements through labor?  There is definitely some irony at work here, but I think Labor Day is a well deserved holiday for our nation. 

The labor of 1884 has taken on a new look in 2019.  The “Hitchin post” – a place to tie the knot on the reigns of your horse, not marriage – is no longer needed in our motorized world.  Which has also made the Hostler, the person that cared for your horse, obsolete.  No more telegraph companies posting help wanted adds.  Newspaper Criers exist today as they did in the 19th century but the reason for their crying has changed.  The criers of yesterday shouted the daily headlines to an eager public.  Newspaper criers today are the owners watching their presses and employees work less and less.  The jobs of Americans in the 21st century have evolved since 1884, but the motivation has not.  We still work to fill the needs of the people.  If we still rode horses we would still need hostlers.  Now we drive cars and need mechanics.  The need of transportation is the same.  The telegraph may be nearly forgotten, but cell phones are a multibillion dollar industry employing millions of laborers.  Need to communicate will never go away. 

Human need will never go away, neither will the laborer that works to fill that need.  That is how a thriving economy and society works.  They both require productive interaction.  An economy needs both seller and buyer.  Without one or the other the economy cannot survive.  What about a society, can it survive without balance?  Without balance a society will fail also. So what is the balance?  It is very similar to an economy's balance. The balance of need and filling that need, but what is the need of society?  That is the question that determines if a society’s interaction is productive or not.  If we labor to fill a need that doesn’t exist, we labor in vain.  If we labor not in vain, to fill a need that does exist, but there are no buyers for the labor, the imbalance grows. 

In the 19th century, our nation understood the needs of our society and our economy.  We had better balance.  Our imbalance in the 21st century is making us all feel shaky.  We have buyers filling their carts and lives with produce that is not productive.  We have sellers producing products where no need exists.  We disagree on our needs.  We labor much in vain.  I am grateful for the American laborers before me and I am proud to be one today.  Our balance has shifted since 1884 but that is no reason to quit.  We only need to come back to the understanding of what we all need, and direct all our labor toward Him, our only True Need.