We thank our friend Jay Campbell for the following prayer and beautiful description of the privilege to work in America.
Happy Labor Day! from all of us,
Terrell Brown and Richard Lipsey
For Put Louisiana First
In 1938, a man married the love of his life on his 29thbirthday. A little over three years later in 1941, they were blessed with their first child, a lovely daughter. After their young daughter celebrated her third birthday, the man grew restless as he saw his country continued to be embroiled in a world war, and he was considered too old to take part. He therefore, at the age of 35,volunteered and joined the army and left his wife and young daughter. He was stationed in Germany and Belgium for most of the time of his service. He remained in the armed service for over two years and was honorably discharged in early 1946, just before his 37thbirthday. He understood the words honor, duty, and privilege so well and put each into action by his unselfish service when he did NOT have to do such. He always did the “right thing, when no one was looking”. That man was my father, who died in 1975.
On Monday September 7 , Labor Day will be recognized and celebrated throughout the United States of America.
Labor Day commemorates the efforts, hard work, and labors of all Americans. Most Americans fully understand and appreciate that using your God-given talents and abilities to perform work, regardless of its type, style, or relative importance, is each person’s duty and responsibility. They also understand from their past experience and personal sacrifice that "any and all work, or service to, and for others" would or could make a lasting contribution to the improvement of every community or locale in America, particularly at this time in our history.
All of us continue to witness the struggles and challenges of thousands of people trying to recover from civil unrest, natural disasters, fires, as well as the corona virus, and other unfortunate circumstances. Thankfully, so many people give freely of their time, talent, and resources in the service to others during these very challenging times.
Work or labor in all of its various forms, is an honor, a duty, and a privilege. Each of us were given various and different skills, talents, and abilities, and the contributions, which each of us can make by the use of these God-given gifts are special and unique. Life is filled with “ordinary opportunities to make subtle differences” all for the greater glory of God. Each of us can make those subtle differences by our work if we accept our work and labors as an honor, a duty,and a privilege.
Work or labor is our duty. As a being created by God, (with a heart, a soul, a mind, and a free will) each of us was provided with certain talents, abilities, and resources. Our mission in life is to be of service to our Creator and to one another, and to use these gifts in the furtherance of this mission. We have a duty to care for ourselves, our families, and others who may need our assistance. Our work becomes a sacred duty since our failure to use our gifts and talents is viewed as selfish and wasteful. The American culture and society was built upon this duty of service to God, to country, and to others. All work of any lawful, ethical, and moral type is worthwhile.
Work or labor is an honor. It is indeed an honor to use one’s ability and talents to improve, assist, enhance, and/or advise another and to put another’s needs in advance of one’s own self-interest. To give one’s best efforts in an endeavor is honorable when the object or goal is to benefit, or be of service to, another. Whatever we do in a compensated job setting, or as a volunteer, and whatever work we perform, we should do so to the best of our abilities and talents since we are honored to be able to do so with the gifts and the time that we have been granted by our Creator.
Work or labor is a privilege. Unfortunately, many people are no longer able to perform work of any kind, and must rely upon assistance or help from others, whether paid or not. Our ability to perform work or labor, regardless of type, significance, difficulty, or pay scale, is truly a “privilege” which should be appreciated and respected. Any person able to perform work, should do so, whether compensated or not, since any and all contributions to, and in, the service to others is worthwhile and purposeful.
This weekend, and on Monday in particular, most Americans will be fortunate to have time off from work for the holiday. However, many others will be working on this day to insure that others can enjoy a lifestyle filled with the freedom to move about, shop, and participate in recreational activities. So many others will be trying to prepare for, recover from, damages caused by civil unrest, a natural disaster, an accident, an illness, the corona virus, or other occurrences that have adversely impacted them.
Special thanks are always and especially due to our intelligence, and Armed Forces, all law enforcement, firefighters, emergency and other first responders. As we approach days of worship, we thank our clergy for their work and daily displays of selfless commitment and service to others. Witnessing the proactive response by great Americans in areas affected by the recent hurricane, we give thanks to all of the countless volunteers who make our lives so much better.
Commitment, dedication, and service to others, our community, church, city, state, and country through work has made America prosperous in the past and will continue to be the source of her continued greatness in the future. May we all seek to find those “ordinary opportunities to make subtle differences” for the greater glory of God.
The below special prayer seems appropriate for Labor Day, and for every day thereafter…..
“Lord, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God….”
May you, your family, friends, neighbors, and associates enjoy a safe and peaceful Labor Day, and every day thereafter!
J.H. Campbell Jr.
Client Consulting Services
Baton Rouge, Louisiana