Posts Tagged ‘Labor Day 2016’

Celebrating the Spirit of America on Labor Day

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Labor Day 2016
Written by, Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by, Kathleen Loftus-Mussari
The Face of America Project 

There is no substitute for hard work. Thomas Edison

On this the first Monday in September, we take time to celebrate 8b04027r_A_S American workers. We have been doing it in America since 1882. In 1884, it became a federal holiday.

On this special day, Kitch and I thought it might be a good idea to share some positive thoughts about the day and the men and women it is designed to honor. To do this we will include some priceless pictures we found in the collection of the Library of Congress.

The poetry of Edgar Guest reflects the American spirit and work ethic that made America great! His optimism is something we all need to hear during these difficult times.

Edgar Guest

Somebody said it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn’t," but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing and he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you’ll never do that;8d08520r_A_S
At least no one has ever done it";
But he took off his coat and he took of his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing and he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a girn,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you’ll do it.

Theodore Roosevelt captured the spirit of Edward Guest’s advice with these words:

It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage that we move on to better things.

Edgar Guest

Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;8d08516r_A_S
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor,
The parent of terror and half-hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;17611r_A_S
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you some day shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
And answer this demon by saying: "I can."

Christian D. Larson, author of The Optimist Creed, summarized Edward Guest’s “Can’t” when he wrote these words:

What you will imagine, you will think, and what you think you will become.

When I was a teenager, I met a man who defined the dignity of work with8a29455r_A_S these aphorisms:

Whether the job be big or small, do it well or not at all.

Once a job is first begun, never leave it until it’s done.

Thank you, Johnny Ferko for this wise advice.

Happy Labor Day!

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