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The Labor of Labor Day

It's time to get to work - real work.

It’s time to get to work – real work.

Labor Day is supposed to honor the work and achievements of workers in our country. Take a moment to think of all the things we take for granted that are built on the backs of the American worker…not people trading money on the stock exchange nor filing litigation or even presenting well structured PowerPoint slides (yours truly) but those that are making a difference.

Don’t get me wrong – white collar and blue collar workers alike make differences every day. I just feel that we lose sight of the ethic of work – the tangible activity that produces something to be lauded, held or referenced for decades to come.

This has been of particular consequence to me in two capacities as of late.

Firstly, I have been trying to “network” more in terms of comedy and writing. As much as I write on an almost daily basis, I have inhibited my own progress by not asking others to help me find opportunities to collaborate, perform and get better. The focus here is squarely on the networking part. The actual “work” taking a backseat somewhat. It feels necessary but shallow.

The second example has to do with a very difficult meeting I was in for my job on Friday. I am fortunate to work with a few colleagues over the past couple of years who are completely dedicated to a healthcare endeavor that I know, in my gut, could be truly transformational. We have taken risks associated with our careers to be on this project with the assurance that it would not negatively impact us and Friday was a big day for this program. The reception that we got from a senior leader was disappointing, to say the least. This was not due to the feedback, per se, but more because of the disconnect between the vision we had heard so much about and the reality of work – churning out things that are more short-term focused versus strategic. In this case, the focus was squarely on more near-term work as opposed to long-term big transformational impact.

What is my point in all of this? Labor Day is a tradition mired not in picnics and sunshine, (though that is my favorite part), but as a way of recognizing the value of work with meaning, purpose and high impact. Whether it is the contextual spin that comedy provides and changes the way issues may be discussed or the risky, long-term and evolving work of driving toward something that can provide impact over the next 2 decades, as opposed to the next 2 years, it is that value that is to be celebrated in work. After all, it is the naive parent who applauds their efforts after only 2 years of raising their kids. Show me the well-adjusted 30 year old and I’ll show you someone who deserves more than just a picnic and a little sunshine once a year.

Until next time,


Thanks again for reading. I appreciate it. If you haven’t already, please consider enrolling to get my blog posts delivered straight to your inbox through this site, email me at or follow me on Twitter @marckaye91. (Better yet, how about all 3). Also, through October 15, for every new follower I get, I will be donating $1 to Nechama, a disaster relief agency, in honor of my daughter who is raising money and awareness for this great organization for her Bat Mitzvah project!

Thanks again, Marc

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