Saturday Evening Post

iced coffeeGot a moment for me? Grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. The heat is at bay enough to be bearable. Let’s talk.

My return to the land of bytes and connections has been adventuresome. For the first time in quite a few years, I find myself with the luxury of time without commitments. It has meant an inordinate amount of writing making its way to The M3 Blog and my books, both of which had been sorely neglected in the preparation for and acclimation to my move.

In my absence, I have seen the retirement of sorts of many of my colleagues in the blogosphere and the print world. While I am wistful for the loss of their words at hand, I am grateful for the words we have shared over the years. Can you guess where that leads me?

A question. What? Did you think I had morphed into someone new? Not a chance. Why do we wait to celebrate until retirement?

I took a few hours to look into some of the storied retirements, specifically the ones which had no encores. I looked at those who lay down their life’s work without reinventing themselves into a tangential hanger-on to what had made them reputable in their fields.

Johnny CarsonSome of them you know. Celebrities are those we feel we know through our prism: One side consumption, one side prejudice, one side reality. How we turn the prism to give one side more weight is our own discretion; still, the image we see is not entirely true. Each of us has the power to hold back as much or as little of our lives as we deem necessary to feel in control of it.

Most of them you will never know. They are the workers who do the jobs which make the world go ’round. The factory workers. The public safety workers. The refiners. The packagers. The delivery men. The construction workers. The drivers. The linesmen. The launderers. The chefs. The messengers. The cleaners. The medical personnel. The teachers. The historians. The insurance agents. The farmers.

Each and every day we take for granted the fruit of someone’s labor. We are so far removed the the clock someone punched to bring us the items we use or consume, of which there are many. Literature. Art. Programming. Food. Paper products. Textiles. The list is seemingly endless.

light switch

How would life be without one of these?

We forget those who burnt midnight oil to pass laws to safeguard us and grant us freedoms. We lose sight of the soldiers who die to protect those freedoms the world over. We have not learned of the inventor who brought us our convenience nor of the team who improved it to better suit our needs.

We do not think of the seamstress whose arthritic fingers made the clothes we wear nor of the cobbler who designed the shoes on our feet. We take for granted the clocksmith whose creation stands in the town square. We forget the scholars who pen the books training a new generation to care for us in our old age. We never give a thought to the programmers who gift us with communication and connection to people who enrich our lives and whom we would have never met otherwise.

Labor Day Quote

If we do not recognize them for their labor whilst they perform it, we must, in good conscience, honor them in the end.

There are no gold-plated statues for the librarians. There are no award ceremonies for the clerks in the grocery store. There are no shows for the framers of art. There are no anthologies of the school photographer’s work. There is no hall of fame for parents.

These are the silent heroes of our society. They are the ones who do the jobs we did not choose or cannot perform. Their passion is belittled by our indifference.

Take some time to thank someone who is working. You are a beneficiary of their labor. Let your children or grandchildren see you do it. Take the time to explain it to your young audience. Your labor will forge a more gracious and grateful generation.

Thank you. Yes, you, my dearest M3 Reader. Your time is valuable to me.

Happy Labor Day.

Red Signature

Have you thanked someone recently for the work they do? Was it someone who has one of the myriad thankless jobs in society? Name one job which influenced you which is one which goes unrecognized.

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© Red Dwyer 2014
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  1. Sorry to say I’m pretty isolated so the only ones I see are the staff at the various places I shop at and I try to at least greet them by name.

    Not much I know, but still…

    Love and huge hugs my friend – You Matter!!! 🙂

    Prenin recently posted..Friday – The end of the experiment.My Profile

    • Pren, by using their names when you see them, you are assigning your recognition of their humanity. It is a matter of heart. I know you have one as big as the ocean, my friend. You also matter. <3

  2. Red…. Not much to add… except to say, you’re right, and, good point…. guess I’m tired, cuz this is pretty short for me…

    Since I’ve agreed with your point, about the silent heroes, for a long while, I’ll just say… Yep.

    My dad was one of those ffolkes who served others and society, one way or another, most of his life, a trend I’ve tried to continue in my work, whenever possible…. As he taught, work isn’t so much work when one’s reason for doing it is aligned with the rules of honor, duty, and compassion; it just feels right.

    See ya….

    gigoid recently posted..Metaphoria is no longer a threat…. it’s Reality….My Profile

    • I agree with your father. Compassion is my overarching emotion, hardly ironic for one deemed heartless on countless occasions. This topic is one at which I marvel often. The macroorganism we have created and maintain, despite its inherent ills, is a wonder in its own right. Happy Labor Day, Gigs. xxx

  3. Dear Red,
    I once took a job as a cashier in a minimart. The job was so difficult for me I had panic attacks before work. I made so many mistakes making change and selling products, my employer had to let me go in short order. I then took a job as a teacher’s aide in an integrated able and disabled children’s preschool. At this job, the difficulty was in being heard by the staff about a disabled child’s experience. My own. They were full of theory and technique but their hearts weren’t occupied with empathy. Where I saw gifts, they saw only pathology. They let me go when I hurt my back and could no longer lift the children from the minivan. They also let me go because I made waves with my heart and soul.
    Gail <3
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Prose – Of Loss and LoveMy Profile

    • Isn’t it odd how using our voices can be more taxing than using our bodies? I still am caught in the cycle of the observance of pathology over ability. My victory lies in the opening of a single eye. That dawning is a recruitment. Much love on this Labor Day, Gail. xxx

  4. Lovely post … I have always chuckled bout King Tut building the pyramid all by his little self …

    • Oh, how funny! We look at that aspect of the equation with a raised eyebrow on more than one occasion around here. I feel certain we shall again. Happy Labor Day, Cat. xxx

  5. I have to name two. My mom worked in a local hosiery mill (sometimes holding other jobs at the same time, mostly holding those dreaded in-home selling parties–Stanley Home, Sara Coventry) where the noise of the machines combined with my Beatle music, in retrospect must have put her teeth on edge. My dad worked as a teen in a sawmill, then a furniture factory as a saw filer, then as a turning lathe operator, and finally as a certified steel worker for construction companies. The only glory my mom got was a tiny wrist watch for her 25 year milepost, and the only glory my dad got was becoming “Old Certified” since he’d done welding for years before actually going for an earning that certificate. I’m tearfully proud of their achievements, for they taught me much more than my 4 years at Appalachian ever did.

    • How very poignant. Both of their accomplishments are large. The irony of the certificate is one I have scoffed for decades. Mayhap it shall become a pst for Clyde on another occasion. A very Happy Labor Day to you, Lucie. xxx

      • I don’t think it was a paper certificate like the ones you frame, for I never saw such an item (if there had been one, he would have hung it on a wall), but an actual certification from a bonafide welders’ organization, probably resulting in a card he carried in his wallet. Unfortunately at his death, his second wife would have pilfered anything she thought I would want.

        • Yes, like making journeyman or master in a union. The second wife is an entirely different can of worms… or vipers, depending on your view.

  6. You make a wonderful point, Red. I have always been courteous to people who’ve served me, whether I know them by name or not. The best win-win is a bright hello to a stranger as well. However, I haven’t thought about workers in this way unless I’ve worked with them. Some workers I’ve missed since their retirement (servers as well) because they were so personable and sweet instead of sour.
    Happy Labor Day to all!
    Tess recently posted..Shaolin: Day 7, Part 1My Profile

    • Even children understand missing those who are gone. Man Cub made his way into the kitchen at a local restaurant when his favorite server decided to make maternity leave a SAHM situation. When we saw her in the bank, he went up to her and hugged her quite ferociously. The people who do those everyday jobs really do influence us at a core level. Happy Labor Day, Tess. When is Labor Day in your country? xxx

  7. We are all completely dependent on countless others for almost everything we have, technology especially. The number of people who make a computer or smartphone possible, including the design and all the parts and materials and programming and everything else would be mind boggling.

  8. It is strange how the so called little people in our societies get overlooked, the one’s that do all the horrible work, mindless tasks and yet are incredibly efficient in doing them, if it were not for those people then our world would not exist, or at least it wouldn’t function very well.

    I think that some (ALL) of our politicians should be forced into these hard labour jobs, it might improve their ability to be nice, after all it is they that are telling others to get into work, do those horrid jobs, but would they do the work? NO…

    Being grateful to the workers of those menial, boring and unbelievably crappy jobs is the least that we can do, but not many people even think about them, or do not care, which is sad.

    Andro xxxx

    • I make a post like this on the off season for precisely that reason, Andro. Frankly, beyond labor jobs, I think all politicians should do military service. Since my son-in-law is currently in Afghanistan, my love for politics would take a microscope to (not) find. xxxx


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