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HAPPY! Labor Day

Many Americans celebrate Labor Day by taking a day off. We barbecue with friends, maybe go to a parade or shop at a sale, anything to hold on to the last vestige of summer, to stay in vacation mode. Resting from our labors seems ironic on a day that is supposed to venerate hard work, especially because work-ethic has been part of the American ethos. Today, however, many feel the value of hard work is becoming a passé notion. The conveniences and ease of modern life have made it so that manual labor is not always crucial to survival of each family. In our abundance, many of us struggle to pass on the value of hard work to our children.

My parents taught me to live by the motto, “Hard-work is its own reward.” As I've tried to live by this saying, I certainly found it to be true. I find some of my happiest times are when I have put in a hard day's work to accomplish a task. It is not just the reward of a job well done that brings joy but the actual work itself. The sweat and toil. The blisters and the bruises. The obstacles and the overcoming. Whether physical or mental, the effort and exertion bring about their own kind of elation. Labor days can be happy days.

Labor Omnia Vincit

Hard work conquers all!

I am not sure hard work conquers all. I think faith, learning and perseverance are vital values as well, but the ability to put in our own elbow grease is indispensable.

Work is one of the first blessings from God. Adam and Eve were told that they would have to make their bread by the sweat of their brow. Mankind quickly learned that from the crucible of work comes the core of character.

“Work is honorable. It is good therapy for most problems. It is the antidote for worry. It is the equalizer for deficiency of native endowment. Work makes it possible for the average to approach genius. What we may lack in aptitude, we can make up for in performance,” says Bishop J. Richard Clarke. He continues, “To teach our children to work is a primary duty of parenthood. Our children have experienced unprecedented prosperity created by parents who have worked hard to provide what they themselves did not have as youngsters. If we are to save our children temporally and spiritually, we must train them to work. They must learn by example that work is not drudgery, but a blessing."

This Labor Day, between the barbecues, parades, and blow-out sales, take the opportunity to teach your kids the heritage of America’s work ethic. If you have taught your kiddos to bask in the joy of their own labor, good for you - keep it up. If you are like me, and wish to instill the value work a little deeper in your kids' character, it is never too late to start. All it takes is a little hard work.

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