TOTW: I'm in Labor!

Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country.

Let those words sink in for a moment.

Today, in neighborhoods across the country everyone but the labor force will have the day off. The smell of cheap meat will blanket the gentrified neighborhoods that look like someone got a degree in copy-and-paste.

In a book titled “The Organization Man,” published in 1956, we are introduced to a labor attitude that has completely dissolved today. We see a person who lets their individuality and personal life become dominated by the organization they work for. In it we find the roots of the myth that a janitor can one one day become the CEO.

During the Great Rail Road Strike of 1877 approximately 100 union members were murdered while standing up against militias, police, and soldiers. This is hardly the only example of the labor movement putting the lives of its members on the line.

Today however, you won’t be seeing any union-members negotiating with their lives, and it seems unlikely there will ever be a rebirth.

I apologize to the propagandist still shouting that we should seize the means of production for what I am about to say because I fear that I might be threatening their job.

Yet, without stable living conditions, or job security, community organizing is a forgotten dream. If we are cold and hungry the foundation of long-term relationship building in a single town will fade from memory as we are forced to move from place to place. Thus, trust built face to face is becoming an increasingly rare commodity.

Would the threat of losing your job or house be too much to face? What if you were forced to skip town and rebuild your relationships, like the Organization Man, from the ground up?

Is a solitary labor of love enough, or will you need something–or someone–more?