Labor Day: Taking a Moment to Pause and Reflect

Labor Day: Taking a Moment to Pause and Reflect

Jonathan JenkinsBy Jonathan Jenkins5 Minutes

As barbecues, pool parties, and summer heat start to give way to pumpkin spice, falling leaves, and cooler weather, we all get a chance to take a long weekend on Labor Day. While it is a great day to enjoy time with family and friends, it has a greater importance that has often been forgotten by people simply enjoying the festivities.

Labor Day was instituted in 1882 due partially to a railroad workers’ dispute called the Pullman Strike. It showed the country in no uncertain terms that workers were feeling underappreciated by their leadership and those around them. Without some sense of appreciation or value, people can eventually boil over with frustrations and anger. With the world being as busy and stressful as it has ever been, it is imperative we remember this lesson from the past. If we don’t, we will continue to repeat the same mistakes that led to that stress boiling over. It is important for both leaders and workers to take Labor Day seriously as a time to truly reflect and refocus.


As the world continues to change, it can be hard to take the time to sit and reflect on your past. However, without a hard examination of our past actions, successes, and mistakes, it will be easy to continue to fall into the same traps over and over again. Taking some time over Labor Day weekend to reflect on the past year can bring things back into perspective.

Consider taking time to focus on how you are treating those around you. Are you treating people as if they are beneath you rather than as partners? Are you taking time to connect with them and show your appreciation for their work and their talents? Have you shown interest in who they are rather than just what they can do for you? Consider these and other questions during your downtime. If you find you are lacking in something, take time to make a plan to do better. By avoiding self-reflection, we risk being blind to faults and turning people away.


When you are in the middle of a stressful situation, you can easily lose sight of your main goals. Taking time to refocus on your short-term and long-term goals can give you a renewed sense of clarity and help you focus on what is truly important. As a leader, you have the responsibility to help guide those you lead, so make sure to be clear about your goals moving forward and the paths you have created to reach those goals.

Take time refocusing your energy toward building up the people around you. We can sometimes focus too heavily on just the goals we have in mind rather than the status of the people around us. Focus on becoming the Servant Leader that God wants you to be in your company and community. Your care for people will shine through your actions and words, and you may be surprised at the difference you can make in people’s lives. When workers know they are valued not only for their work, but as individuals, they are often much happier and will value their leaders in return.


Labor Day gives us a chance to enjoy extra time with family and friends, but be sure to use it for its intended purpose. Use your extra time off to seek clarity and a renewed sense of focus on what is truly important in your working life. Appreciate those you work beside and dedicate time to finding better ways to show that appreciation moving forward. A little appreciation and compassion can make all the difference in people’s lives and work. While it may take away a little bit of time from the end-of-summer fun, it will be well worth your time.