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September 06, 2020 3 min read

By Jesmar Arevalo

And here we are again. The Labor Day Weekend, recognized by many as the unofficial end to summer. This year we’ll celebrate this festivity along with all the waves of new challenges 2020 has brought, to all of humanity. Today we are more aware than ever about the importance of the workforce, so needed that the world as we know it will keep functioning.

Lots of things have changed since the first Labor Day was celebrated, starting with its meaning and followed by the way people and families celebrate it. Back in time, this day was intended to honor and recognize the American labor movement. Nowadays, most people just consider it a long weekend. One to rest and share with family and friends.

In the early 19th century, when the labor movement began, the workforce was mostly represented by men, and that meant an entirely different way of celebrating it too. There was no question about this being a weekend for men to relax and take some time to rest at home. Women, on the other hand, were busy taking care of everything else. It was a time when a woman’s job was being a housewife and a few worked outside of the home. There is no doubt things are different today, society has changed.

Women have proved themselves as valuable to the workforce as men, and every action taken has caused an impact on the way things progress in society. A woman being a wife, a mother, and working at a paid job has inevitably affected the workforce balance. Or perhaps revived it, I would say. In a family where both parents work, it forces the need for both to redistribute the list of family responsibilities.

Looking at it from a Labor’s Day perspective, as a result of these changes in society over the last decades, it is also interesting to realize what this celebration has become. How does this have something to do with Labor Day? Well, it has all to do with it! Remember the way your parents, or even better your grandparents celebrated this great weekend? You will find your answer when comparing it to the way it is celebrated now.

I’m sure you’ll notice that in most families it is no longer a day for men to rest while the mother takes care of everything. But don’t get me wrong, this is not a negative statement! Thanks to this evolution in society, now both men and women can commit an equal share in the work while enjoying their free time as a family.

The fact that both have a daily routine, stress, bosses to deal with, schedules, and similar goals to accomplish, helps all to see this special day differently. There’s no more obligation for women to cook 'because that’s what they do'. And while men are getting a different outlook into what taking care of a house and a family really is, some are also realizing just how hard a job it can be and giving proper value to it. Using cool new gadgets is helping them manage the household quite effectively.

If there is anything that we've learned, from this year especially, is that there’s no such thing as a perfect society. But it is promising to know that we have evolved and have corrected some inequities from the past that had kept us from moving forward. Growth must always be something we look for as a society and as individuals.

Have we reached the end of this road of progress? Not likely, but I am sure we’ll keep experiencing more and more changes in society, along with new ways to improve. We need to learn from all the experiences we have lived so far. We want to hold on to our traditions while welcoming the societal improvements necessary in any just civilization.

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