Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

Today is set apart in the USA to honor working people, though the days of marching for an 8-hour day without fear of losing wages are long over. Kat just left to do some work, but her supervisors have the day off.

Since finding messages from God in every storm or tremor is fashionable, I'll jump in too. Why is it raining out? God's saying to Kat's bosses, "You think you're gonna barbecue while the people who actually do the tasks that define your business are out there? Think again!"

And are you planning to check out some Labor Day sales? It's the vast service-industry workforce who are actually handling all the merchandise today. Again, the defining task for retail, without which there's no need for administration. Every cent of the CEOs' salaries is brought in by cashiers.

Yet so many of those who don't struggle to get by are off today. On a day dedicated to working people.

And since I invoked a God of sorts, how 'bout an Adversary?

Money is the measure of all things in my country. When disasters disrupt thousands or millions of lives, the loss is expressed in dollars, and individual miseries become sensational, human-interest reports meant to keep you glued to your TV though blocks of ads. It shouldn't be a surprise then that Labor Day equals the end of the tourist season. It's one last boost for tourism revenue, and for factory-farming dollars too, since searing steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs outdoors is the norm. And who's stressing to meet the increased demand for all those goods and services? The people we're supposed to be honoring.

If you shop at all today, why not give that harried laborer a break? I've heard of a Buddhist meditation for compassion that simply involves looking into a cashier's eyes as if he or she were a fellow-sufferer, another human being, and seeing something good in that person. Be kind, as if you were the one struggling to handle the relentless stream of customers of which you're only a tiny part. Slow down, be patient, put your own needs aside for just a few moments. What sort of sympathy would lower your stress, if only a little? No matter what your position in life, if you're on the other side of the counter, you're privileged right now. Use that to make the life of another human a little better, please. It will make you the kind of person who does such things, a state worth much more than money.

No comments:

Post a Comment