America’s work culture is a source of unending amusement to me.
I guess because it is never in the best interest of the person working. Our work weeks are longer than many other countries. Our workers are less healthy than in many other countries. The American thought process is a constant push to identify yourself with what you do, pressuring workers for constantly improved performance and dedication to their career, resulting in less time with family, not to mention less time to contemplate God, existence, purpose…you know, important things like that.
It occurred to me as I discussed with some friends this weekend the origin of Labor Day. It originated as a holiday for the blue collar worker. However, this weekend, I saw all kind of white collar workers taking a long weekend to shop at outlet stores and eat at nice restaurants, all of which were staffed by blue collar workers who had to work on their holiday.
Does that seem backward to anyone else?
I was hesitant to go anywhere to shop or eat today. It seemed profane somehow. All of those workers should have been with family and friends, and being paid for it. Certainly, they get too few holidays as it is.
Of course, the argument would be that this would damage our precious economy, and, since America is driven by the all-powerful dollar, I don’t suppose that justice will ever happen there. We will continue to lose time to ourselves, time with our loved ones, continue to blow through life at a breakneck pace as we forget (or, in many cases, never discover) the emotional and spiritual benefits of a meditation time, or the relational benefits of more time in conversation with your significant other. We’ll just keep losing precious time, in order to keep from losing dollars that are only precious in perception.
Losing. Hmmm…that seems like an adequate word, doesn’t it?