Our US celebration of Labor Day today made me reflect on the idea of work — especially work that qualifies as “labor.” At thirteen, I got my first job for an employer outside my family. For a few weeks in the summer of 1973, I worked with some of my friends detasseling corn for a seed company in Fremont, Nebraska. Trust me. It qualified as labor.
I’m sharing a TED talk by Mike Rowe, who “stars” in the TV show Dirty Jobs. He made me think about how important labor is for all of us. We benefit from the labor of others. And we benefit from doing labor ourselves. And we can’t always recognize a pro with only a theoretical understanding of the labor they do. A good reminder for me to maintain a little humility when judging other people’s work.