Labor Day 2013: Your Work Matters

Labor Day has an interesting history. Some trace its beginnings to the socialist Robert Owen, who claimed May 1, 1833, as the day for the beginning of the millennium. But the first May Day or Labor Day celebration occurred in Paris on May 1, 1889. Most of the countries that observe a labor day do so on May 1. In the Soviet Union it is an official holiday. Canada and the United States have fixed the first Monday in September as Labor Day, and in these countries it is a national holiday in which all classes, not simply workingmen, participate. – Christianity Today1

Today is Labor Day here in the United States. Many people are unemployed here and tomorrow does not look promising. We all hope the economy will turn around sooner rather than later. Be thankful if you have a job and prayerful if you do not.

In a country where someone’s value as a person is often defined by their job, I will briefly offer why a job should not make someone less of a person.

We could consider any number of professions, but think about the importance of a doctor’s job for a moment. Doctors are very important people. They gave up years of their life to learn how to heal, repair, and save lives. They have a very high status and rightly so.

Some may hold doctors as more valuable than others, especially, at particular times when a doctor’s skills are needed. While doctors might be held in high esteem, that does not mean people who do lesser jobs should be demeaned.

For example, when you visit a doctor’s office someone must keep up the facilities – the parking lot, building, etc. – in order for you to be able to access the doctor. For a doctor to work effectively they must have a clean place to tend to sick people. Someone must dispose of the used medical supplies to keep the office clean so patients are not infected.

Yet, how often are those who work in janitorial services looked down upon? Janitors are not doctors, but doctors need janitors. Doctors need janitors to keep their offices clean to better make sick people well.

So, by all means, hold doctors in highest esteem, but hold their janitors in high esteem too. Even if doctors are respected a little more than janitors, that does not mean janitors deserve no respect. Neither deserve disrespect because of their jobs. We all have our parts to play and those parts are valuable even though not always recognized as such. Besides, we all must work together and live together.

People are made in God’s image and their job should not take away from respecting them as such. Let’s celebrate Labor Day considering jobs big and small; honoring all.

Here I blog…


  1. Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

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