Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Summer light angles
sideways forecasting autumn
days soon upon us.
Labor Day is tomorrow. Legal worker’s rights have taken centuries to evolve into the American standard of an eight hour day and a 40 hour work week. In today’s culture workers have rights that aren’t always vocalized or formalized. Here’s my simplistic list and today I won’t elaborate.
1. You have the right to work.
2. You have the right to not work. However, you cannot expect others to support you.
3. You have the right to sell your time to others.
4. You have the right to work for yourself.
5. You have the right to earn wages.
6. You have the right to place a value on yourself and your work, whether you work for yourself or others.
7. You have the right to representation. You probably will have to be responsible to pay for your representation. If you are a union member, you already pay every month in the form of union dues. If you are not a union member, you may pay for an attorney or qualify for free legal aid.
8. You have a right to a minimum wage when you work for others. In America minimum wage is different in different states. Do not expect minimum wage to be a living wage.
9. You have a right to request reasonable accommodations to perform your job whether you need accommodations at your hire date or your ability changes over your years of employment.
10. You have the right to be treated with respect.
Workers also have duties in respect to working. This list will address only workers who sell their time to others, not self-employed workers, though most of these notes will still apply.
1. You must begin work on time according to when you are scheduled.
2. You must check the schedule daily in case of last minute changes.
3. You must work until the last minute of your scheduled time.
4. You must take breaks and lunches according to state and federal law, and employee and union contracts.
5. You must do the best job you can.
6. You must listen and accept constructive criticism.
7. You must treat whomever you work with respectfully.
8. You must be willing to grow with whatever changes occur in your job.
9. You must behave in a professional manner according to the particular work environment.
10. If you make an error, you must admit it.
Rather than go on about these items I suggest you give them some thought yourself. I will address them again at a later date. I’m thinking about why we work. Work is what we do throughout our days and our lives whether we sell our time to others or spend our time taking care of ourselves.
Work wasn’t always about making money. Work began in ancient times as ways of caring for yourself and the people around you. The gathering, hunting, and preparing of food and water, making the tools and weapons necessary to secure food, creating and maintaining shelters, creating and caring for clothing to ward off the elements, caring for the births, deaths, and infirmities of life were the beginnings of what we now call work. People worked all day just to feed themselves, to keep themselves warm or cool and safe from harm.
There used to be a large gender divide with work for the simple reason of child-bearing which obviously requires a certain need, namely the ancient and honorable art of breast-feeding. Yes, anybody can care for an infant, but only the mother should breast feed it; no good to defy nature’s design, wet nurses notwithstanding.
Then women realized they were doing nearly everything men were doing in addition to their own work, not because of ability but because of need. Yet, generally speaking, men weren’t doing the things women were doing in addition to their own work. Put that on top of the institution of the military industrial complex and an industrial revolution and employment needs had to diversify to insure the continuation of industrial economics regardless of gender.
Many skills have been lost because of the American cultural standard of two employed adults outside the household, complicated by the loss of the multi-generational household. Who’s at home? Children, alone, left to raise themselves by their own devices without the guidance of an adult, putting our future generations at risk. We have fewer gardens, less fresh food, weakened family structures, disjointed communities, and a distracted workforce because no matter how hard you try you can’t be in two places at once (that would be defying the laws of physics) and there are only so many hours in the day. The work of home-keeping is constant and hard and germaine to the strength of a family and a community.
As we continue our journey on this planet in this second decade of the new century, I’m not suggesting a return to the old ways. I am suggesting learning from the old ways and adapting those ways to accommodate what has real value in our world and our communities.
Don’t fall for the “feed the world” myth. Industrial agriculture, the biggest human experiment ever undertaken, is killing us. Help feed your community with locally grown fresh food then help the next community make the same thing happen in their’s and so on, beginning locally and thinking globally. Expect less if you sell your time to others for money as they are not your family. Work closer to home or live closer to work, considering money might not be the only reason to work. Lighten your carbon footprint in whatever manner works for you. Consider creating or keeping your home multi-generational.
But work; work hard at whatever it is you are working at, and work hard together, and enjoy working at it as long as you can. Then enjoy your break time. If you get to have Labor Day off from your regular employment, enjoy whatever work you do instead; if you have to go to work on Labor Day, do your best. I promise we will appreciate it.
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – I don’t know what this plant is but the leaves have a lovely variegated pale yellow and dark green striping with delicate creamy white flowers tinged with pink, the flower structure reminds me of buddleia but the plant does not resemble the buddleia in any other way; speaking of which, large lavender spears of buddleia blossoms with teeny bright red centers, and a soothing fragrance as well, a favorite; brilliant competition orange nasturtiums, the owner says are volunteers from last year, not purposely re-seeded; a fat pink rosebud, I love the layers of petals; I love abundance in a small space and here’s a fine example, two types of tomatoes, a squash plant, some herbs and flowers, and an apple tree in the background; purple cosmos with yellow eye center; bright yellow sister sunflowers with soon to be edible seeds in the middle.
Currently Reading – We Are Not Ourselves (2014, fiction) by Matthew Thomas; The 48 Laws of Power (1998, psychology) by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers; The Fluoride Deception (2006, medical politics) by Christopher Bryson; How to See Yourself as You Really Are (2007, philosophy) by the Dalai Lama. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Birdsong at dawn.
- Squirrel scream mid-morning.
- Cricket song at noon.
- Birdsong at evening twitter-light.
- Frog song at dusk.
- Hearing all the suburban-rural animals who live in my neighborhood despite my tinnitus.
- Still being able to sell my time to others for income.
- Being able to write and use my knowledge and imagination.
- Learning the actual lyrics from the Disney song are: “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s home from work I go”.
- The pain in my hip reminding me with every movement I am still present in this world.
- Asking the name of a homeless lady who regularly frequents my place of work, and her brilliant smile every time I greet her by name. No, you are not invisible. You are here, you take up space, you matter.
- Bagging a huge six point arachnid who had invaded my home. He was large enough for taxidermy, but he was instead dispatched, crushed by a bit of tissue covering a pencil and flushed to a watery graveyard. If you want to keep your life, y’all spiders need to live outdoors, not indoors.
- The fragrant polecat who hangs around my house hasn’t messed with my household feline.
- Thinking about different ways to sell my skills. Ha, ha, not like it sounds.
- Growth through transitions.
- Learning hard lessons.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch