Labor Day is a good day to reflect on the situation of work and workers in today’s society. I am not an expert in social and economic sciences. But if I wanted to share the point of view of those who observe their surroundings with empathy, they decide to speak. Broadly speaking, we were coming from a crisis, from which perhaps we had not fully emerged, and we have been swept up in the maelstrom of the pandemic, with unforeseen changes, sometimes very drastic, which has led us to a strike that has affected to many people. Now that it seems that the pandemic is being controlled with vaccinations, an announced economic adjustment will come, which, as always, will be felt more among the most vulnerable.
Labor Day is a tribute to work and workers. Human society would not be human if it weren’t for work, with which we take care of each other. Some take care of people, others provide services, others offer their art. It is this work that we give with attention and kindness, which makes us feel the joy of giving and helping others. It is what makes us feel most human.
Unfortunately, greed is also human, and if we let ourselves be carried away by it, it poisons us, and blinds us with selfish visions that make us abuse others. This makes others, and us, more unhappy because it means losing the affection of the people with whom we relate. And as human beings, we need more affection to be happy than the money and prestige that we so desire.
Perhaps it is just a perception, but it seems to me that the value of work is deteriorating: in continuous contact with people on the street, we realize this increase in the precariousness of some workers. Compassion makes us move, and we think, “What can we do to help?” Sure we can do things: create solidarity networks, mutual support, exchange care and services.
But there is something very simple, and that we can do from now on. It is the first step, and at the same time the most fundamental: to become aware of ourselves and be the first to value work. This means learning to fairly value the work of others. We live in a society that tends more and more to technological automatism and is transforming very quickly.
Some jobs disappear and new ones come out. And it does not seem like much common sense to oppose this technological automatism, since in the end we are all users. Let’s start with ourselves, if we want work to be valued. Let us appreciate their work, which makes us enjoy care and services, we do not only look at what is wrong, and what remains to be done, but rather we value everything that has been done, the effort that has been put into doing it; the time that has been spent; and above all the attention, so valuable, of others towards us. From our example, this attitude will surely spread. We are all part of a great network of interconnected beings.
If we value the work of others, the work will be valued.
Good Labor Day!