Labor Day in south Louisiana coincides a bit too often, we think, with the arrival or aftermath of a hurricane, as we were reminded when Isaac blew through the area a few days ago.
But the storm — and the disruption it caused to local office schedules and other patterns of civic life — was also a reminder of how pleasing it can be to have an ordinary day at work, with few surprises.
We measure the recovery of a community by its ability to resume its work routines, once again putting the shoulder to the plow. Labor Day is a day to reflect on the simple privilege of work — a job to go to, a task to perform, a useful bit of labor to put food on the table and advance the public good.
We remember today that too many of our fellow Americans are jobless as the nation struggles to recover from a global recession. Sadly, unemployment is a problem in many other countries around the world. We hope and pray for better days for all Americans.
Labor Day, which began at a time when many Americans worked in farms and factories, continues to be celebrated, even in an age in which much hard work is done by machines. In spite of that change, there is still much work to be done, and although many of us grumble about our jobs, we suspect that quite a few folks would miss the sense of community they find among their fellow employees.
Labor Day is a good time to reflect on those connections — even if the holiday gives us a much-enjoyed break from the office.