When I was thinking about this week’s mantra I pondered Labor Day and the meaning of it. I looked up the definition on the U.S. Government website and this is what it had to say:
Labor Day: What it Means
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
This is a very important day. It’s important to think about our contributions to society in the form of work, to think about how what we do everyday in the form of work, paid or unpaid (i.e. motherhood and running a household are unpaid:) ) contributes to the betterment of our communities and the country.
It’s also important to think about how our lives are enhanced by our work. Is our job providing us the capability to enjoy our lives outside of “work”? I think that employers should examine this and attempt to provide an environment that encourages working to live, not living to work. It’s important that employers take the time to really value their employees, a good start is giving them a day off, but an even better way to acknowledge hard work would be a higher paycheck that a person can afford to live on. That would be a greater contribution to our society. In my humble opinion a person should be able to work one full-time job and at the very least afford to pay rent, bills and feed their family. They should not have to get multiple jobs in order to do so. Is that too much to ask?
There is a new movement in the U.S., I don’t really know much about it but the tag line is “right to work.” How about the “right to afford a house”, “right to afford a college education”, “right to afford healthcare”, “right to afford food”, “right to enjoy life” etc. etc. etc…? I’m just brainstorming here (and according to the Imagination Movers, one of my sons favorite shows, “there ain’t no bad ideas when you’re brainstormin”… maybe bad English, LOL) but I think it’s important to value work in the form of a better paycheck and we need to start valuing living a good life as well. I bet there would be a more productive and happy work force if that were the case.
While I’m on the subject, another good point to make is that if we paid our employees better we would have better quality goods and services. For example, I’m riding the Fung Wah bus from Boston to NYC today, only $15 each way because admittedly I cheaped out and wanted to save the $200 on a train ticket. I paid a lot less for my travels and in return we nearly ran over a small sedan a block from the bus station and now the AC doesn’t work. It makes me think of the old saying “you get what you pay for.” Ain’t that the truth!
What are your thoughts? Do you “live to work” or “work to live”?
Until next time… stay strong, beautiful and take a break!