As we prepare to celebrate this Labor Day holiday our country seems to be in crisis. We have seen wild fires raging, homes destroyed, peaceful and violent protests in our cities’ streets, people being shot, a toddler the victim of a hit and run, and divisive rhetoric everywhere in tweets and news cycles. We have seen powerful images that show fear, loss, violence and pain. Negative news floods our living rooms and it seems we hear much more of the downside than the upside of our reality. Why? Is it because that is what makes news?
Perhaps crises can strengthen us and be a positive force for good. If we look, listen, and attune to the other side of the news we see ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We may have to look beyond the sound bytes, but goodness is there. We see fireman battling those wild fires trying their best to save people’s homes when their own have burned to the ground. We see healthcare workers giving of themselves beyond regular working hours to tend to corona virus patients. We see teachers trying their best to keep first graders engaged for a five hour day on computers! Parents working from home while trying to help their children learn remotely. Grocery store clerks hoping that people will wear masks and practice safety measures while they put themselves on the line each day. The list goes on–this is the good news we need to celebrate this Labor Day.
These are the American laborers who each day bring their personal qualities to bear on the jobs they do. There is creativity, adaptability, foresight, and compassion that go far beyond any resume. These are the workers that sow seeds of peace and care for the common good instead of seeds of discord that yield hate and destruction. These are the American laborers who ask us to trust the goodness we see and the unexplainable love lived by so many. In my world, that is grace. Grace given freely by the Creator, a Provident God who calls us to be our better selves. This Labor Day do we have the strength to cooperate with grace and become ambassadors for good?
Barbara McMullen, CDP