Jordan Ogren

September 6, 2021

Humans are strange.

It's only appropriate on Labor Day to write about Labor Day.
First, I want to cover the history of this glorious day.

Do you know when the first Labor Day was celebrated? 1882, New York City (I had no clue).

"By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday." — U.S. Department of Labor.

Do you know who was responsible for the idea? Unfortunately, that answer isn't so straightforward.

Two people are responsible, but no one knows the true "founder" of Labor Day. 

Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, proposed setting aside a day for a "general holiday for the laboring classes" to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." 

Counter to that, recent research shows Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, New Jersey, suggested Labor Day in 1882.

To this day, they remain "co-founders." It's crazy how they could not validate who was the true inventor of the idea.

Also crazy that they signed a law (national holiday) celebrating labor workers. Why do we need a law to rest and celebrate those who work?

(Don't act like you didn't think I wouldn't try and make a more significant meaning out of this history lesson)

As humans, we struggle to rest.

We work the most out of all animals. We need a damn holiday to remind us to take time off. Is that sad, or is it just me?

Blame it on the system. Blame it on our unsatisfiable desires. I don't care. What I do care about is changing.

Leaving the "old game" of work behind and engaging in a "new game." Call it the better way.

That doesn't mean to sip cocktails and smoke joints all day (although, that would be nice). What it looks like for you will be different than for me. But it means embracing a new and better way to live and work—to integrate work and life so seamlessly.

Maybe I'm off on this. Perhaps we're doing well and don't need to change.

What are your thoughts? 

As you enjoy your day off (hopefully), ponder whether you could improve your relationship to work. Could you rest more? Could you find more meaning in the work you do? 

Life is short. Don't wait to change.

🧠 // JO