Happy May Day

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m a kid from a working class family and honestly, unless you are independently wealthy you almost certainly have a job. So why happy May Day? Well here’s a quote from an article on the meaning of May Day.

May day is observed every year on May 1. It’s observed not only in India but also in nations such as Cuba and China. The major goal is to acknowledge the immense hard work put in by the working class, to educate them about their rights, and to protect them from being exploited.

May Day, although often associated with the celebrations in Communist countries is in fact a holiday created, but no longer nationally celebrated in America. It was created as part of the American Marxist labor movement of the 19th century. These radicals had a goal of making it illegal for workers to be required to work more than eight hours a day. We owe a lot of what we consider to be normal today to the workers movements of the early 19th and 20th centuries. Things like the eight hour workday, weekends, overtime, holiday pay, etc… all came from these movements.

Of course anything that can be politically associated with Communism is permanently tarnished in America. But I think we should bring back May Day. Yes, we do have Labor Day, which grew out of the Haymarket riots of 1886 to celebrate worker contributions and also was focused on the eight hour workday and that’s great. But I think we all work hard enough that we deserve two holidays a year.

So on Monday, you have my permission to take an extra coffee break, go out for a walk if the sun is shining, maybe put up an impromptu May poll and celebrate the fact that you work hard and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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