A tribute — and some advice — for those who labor

Monday marks yet another holiday on our yearly calendar, a day in which some of us will enjoy time away from work; others will wrap up final beach weekends before the school year kicks into high gear; and still others will use the day as one to simply catch their breath or merely catch up.

Few of us will stop to think of why it is we have this holiday, or for what reason it was decided that this should be a day in which to celebrate.

Quite literally, this is a holiday that is about us — the American workers, the men and women who have, through time, put the elbow grease, the critical thinking skills and the common sense practices together to make businesses grow and prosper and, by virtue of that fact, made our country stronger and more prosperous as well.

Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday in September, is a day set aside each year to honor those who labor, and to those who have labored through history to advance our nation and provide it both social and economic achievements.

For more than 125 years, the United States has set this day aside to honor the working men and women who get up every day, make their way to work and, through what they do, provide the American economic engine the fuel it needs to keep moving onward and upward.

For a time in the mid-2000s, the celebration of the working world took on a deeper meaning as unemployment rolls grew, showing those fortunate enough to actually have a job what the true celebration is all about. Then the economy leveled out and the unemployment rate began a welcome decline, but still the reminder is there that we should be thankful if we are gainfully employed and thus remember on this Labor Day to offer appreciation, vocally or silently, for the paycheck we are most fortunate to receive.

Today, we tip our hat to each and every man and woman who labors — be it in the factory or the field, the small business or the large, the corporate board room or the industrial floor.

And we offer this bit of advice to an up-and-coming labor force which hasn’t yet found its foothold and which, for whatever reason doesn’t fully understand the privilege it really is to work, to be able to make an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work.

That advice is:

• Give every day you work everything you have;

• Learn to be indispensable;

• Don’t go to work thinking your employer owes you a living — work to earn it;

• Respect your customers and understand the age-old rule that they are always right;

• Speed and efficiency are important qualities;

• Courtesy should be second nature and always exhibited;

• Enjoy what you do; it’s important;

• Work as if you owned the company;

• Strive for your best and give it to those who’ve put their trust in you;

• Be thankful that you have a job.

Work is certainly work, but no handbook anywhere says you have to dread getting up and going every day.

You, the working men and women of this country, are what makes business and industry strong, you are the backbone. And, if that backbone is weak, then so is the economy which you drive.

Being an American worker is something in which to be very proud. And if we are the best at what we do, well., that makes it all the more important that we celebrate what you do come September of every year.

Let us, as workers, earn the right to be honored and earn the right to be called a great American worker.