Principle #4 – Activate Your Learning Gene About Yourself

I can’t believe Monday is Labor Day! This year has been a blur! On the one hand, the time has flown by, but on the other hand, with the virus, it feels like we’ve lived five years… just this year!

In New York City, in 1882, Labor Day was first observed. It was a day that celebrated the labor movement and the hard work of people in the United States and Canada. In 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September a legal holiday for Washington D.C. and all U.S. territories.

 “As we celebrate Labor Day, we honor the men and women who fought tirelessly for workers’ rights, which are so critical to our strong and successful labor force.” – Elizabeth Etsy

Labor Day is very different this year. There is one in ten people out of work in the United States. This is just one challenge our country is facing because of the federal leadership of the pandemic. I’m grateful every day my daughters and sons-in-law have stable jobs. They are the lucky ones. It could have been so different for them.

I believe our unemployment will get better, but it will take all of us to make that happen by voting in the November 3rd election. Remember to register and plan your vote.

Let’s get back to Labor Day. It isn’t just about having a day off of work, but a day to safely enjoy a picnic, a trip to the zoo, or to the amusement park. It’s a day to celebrate with family and friends…even if we have to wear masks! It also signals the closing of summer. It’s time to put our white shoes away and pull out our black or brown ones. Why do we put white shoes away…I don’t get it?

For me, Labor Day feels like a new beginning because it’s the start of another school year. Yes, school is different this year too. There are many great things to learn in-person or virtually, and lots of memories to make!

Cool weather is on the way! And if you live in the south, this is super-duper awesome! Halloween is coming, and the leaves will be changing. It’s the time of year we feel the most thankful. We have many things to be grateful for all year, but it’s at the forefront of our minds during the fall season. This is a perfect time of the year to think about our lives.

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” 
– Meister Eckhart

I’ve noticed that I have been angry this year. This is new to me because I usually don’t feel anger. I’ve been angry with the mismanagement of the pandemic and the lost lives. And also, at the social injustices of all people of color. There has been too much unnecessary suffering. When I get to this negative space, I try to unplug and watch or read about inspiring stories.

I’m grateful for the state leadership of my state, North Carolina. Governor Cooper and his administration have consistently followed the data and science of the pandemic. They have worked with the counties to make sure people are protected, tested, and fed. They have also offered loans to small business owners to keep our economy going. I have hope that everything will be okay.

I work every day on my unconscious biases. I have learned to be more sensitive to other people’s experiences. This gives me a greater appreciation for all people. Also, I am more patient with myself and with others. I feel more in-sync with my family, and I’ve made sure that I am more available to help them when they need it. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I have to take care of myself. Now I make sure I have downtime without feeling guilty about it.

So, as the season changes from summer to fall, take a little time to reflect. How have you changed this year? What is working in your life, and what would you like to change? What difference are you making? It can be hard to look at ourselves, but it can feel rewarding when we do! Take care of yourself! And have a safe Labor Day!

Freedom is possible!


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