Today is Wednesday and I’m sure a lot of you, school students, are very happy because it’s a holiday in the middle of the week. And you should be... it’s a very good pause, a moment to relax and enjoy this day, specially because it’s a very sunny and bright day! But a holiday is also a good moment to reflect about its meaning and why it is so important...at least the celebration is important enough to give us a holiday.
But before sharing some thoughts with you, let’s get something straight:
- LABOR Day is commemorated in USA. It’s an American federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.
- LABOUR Day, for many countries, is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers' Day, which occurs on May 1st and it is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. It is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. In Brazil, like in India and most of the other countries, most offices, banks, schools, etc. remain closed since it is a public holiday. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for recreation.
But is it a real achievement? I mean, it must be official and well written in some document, but how many people do you know that enjoy 8 hours for recreation? Or sleep 8 hours a day? As I know a lot of teachers, I know that many of them work 8 hours (sometimes even more) per day, but when they go home, the other 8 hours are also used to keep on working (researching some topics, correcting tests, checking the student’s work, preparing classes, etc.) It sounds crazy! But I also know that it’s not a teacher’s privilege. There are many other workers who have an 8-hour work journey and after that keep on working at home, thinking about what they have done, what they are going to do next day or even working at their computer (or as people like to say it, working at their home office).
Workers didn’t have this right before and it was a hard work to achieve it...and now that we have the right of have a balanced life, where work, leisure and rest has the same importance, we act as if we didn’t have it . If it was so important before, the question is...what has really changed in our modern life that it’s not taking it into consideration anymore? What has really changed in our modern life that it’s not taking it into consideration what we have achieved in the past?
Post Question for the students: Are you an organized person? Do you have your routine elaborated in a balanced way? Do you plan your day? Can you study (in school) 8 hours, sleep 8 hours and spend 8 hours doing what you like? If you can, how do you organize your day? If you can not, what could you do, what changes would be the necessary to improve your routine and afford you great satisfaction and a more balanced day?
Tip: To learn more about the celebration of Labor Day, read the article from the British newspaper The Guardian and watch the second video in this article (Click here). While today may have been a day of rest for you, in many countries of the world, such as Russia, Cuba, Greece, the Philippines and South Korea, it was a day to protest against the economic crisis afflicting many workers and causing a high level of unemployment .