News & Updates
September 2022 I Volume 9

A Few Words from Our MASWA President
Appreciating Hard Work

Inspiration comes from many things. It can be from things we see, hear, taste, smell or feel.  In this case, let’s take a look at one of nature’s busiest creatures, the bee. Much inspiration may be drawn from the labor of a bee and its fellow workers. Bees work very hard, just like the one depicted in this picture. More on that little bee in a minute.

We celebrate one of the most recognized holidays during September. It is Labor Day. On September 5, 1882, the first United States Labor Day was celebrated in New York City. The purpose was to recognize our labor force for their many accomplishments over the years. During that time, working conditions were poor, unsafe and unsanitary. In many cases the conditions were pretty dangerous. It was about the time that the Industrial Revolution began where manufacturing became a very big deal that led to factories with long workdays and workweeks. Children were also part of this workforce working in factories and mines and earning next to nothing in wages. Of course, this led to protests for better pay and more reasonable working hours and workweeks.

During those early years, as this country grew, this county’s workers worked hard. They worked to build a great nation under very difficult circumstances. This needed to be appreciated and celebrated. That first Labor Day celebration, held in New York City, was a parade and was attended by thousands. Eventually, Labor Day became a recognized national holiday following a crippling railroad strike that caused many to lose their lives in the struggle. Much happened in the following years as workers tried to be recognized and appreciated for their efforts. By June 1894, Congress passed legislation making the first Monday in September as a federal holiday designated to celebrate workers and their labor put into building this country. Much has changed over the years as various industries have expanded, diversified and grown their workforces. Working conditions and wages have drastically changed for the better, as well. What inspired these workers to work hard and to strive for better conditions and all that goes with making a good living? They worked hard and never gave up…what inspires you? What inspires you to fight so hard for our older adults?

It is interesting that today, when we think of Labor Day, perhaps our attention is drawn to end-of-season family gatherings at the lake, a BBQ with friends or the start of a new school year for students. That’s fine, but let’s take a moment to reflect on what it takes to succeed and what probably got us to where we are today.

Do you recall that little bee approaching that beautiful flower? Every time we look at nature, we should be inspired. Let’s just focus on that bee. What is our little bee doing? That little bee is working hard. A few fascinating facts may help. This bee is a worker bee with a specific task. It is to collect nectar and pollen and take it back to the hive. One trip could have been made to as many as 1500 flowers, thus filling her body capacity. The “BeeKeep Club” reports that, “A plane created by man has the capability of handling a quarter of its weight. The bee can carry nectar and pollen equal to its body weight.” Bees should not be able to fly but they do! Did you know that one teaspoon of honey takes over 5,000 flower visits and bees would have to visit at least 2 million flowers to make a pound of honey? With all that, one bee makes up to about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime. That means all the bees in the colony have to work together to make enough honey for their colony and for us to eat and enjoy.

Yes, bees are hard workers and inspirations for us all. If a little insect with a brain as small as a sesame seed can do what it can do, we are certainly capable of doing so much more. Many have been inspired by the phrase, “busy as a bee”. It is something we learned and have heard to reference someone who really got things moving, worked hard and perhaps accomplished quite a bit. It means someone in constant motion. “Busy bees” inspire us to work hard, don’t they?

As we look at our lives, what do we do for work? Do we enjoy what we do? If we enjoy what we do, then we probably stick with it, like the bee. If not, then we change it up until we find something we really like. We work hard and do as best as we can. What inspires us to go on? It may be the folks with whom we work. It may be that our parents instilled a good work ethic in us. It may be a natural drive within us that causes us to do what we do day in and day out. It may have been something we saw that provided inspiration to cause us to go out and make a difference; work that helped us begin to raise families and make good livings. Whatever the inspiration that helps us succeed at our professions, should not be overlooked.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Hard work is the price we must pay for success.” All of nature, including the little bee, works hard to produce an amazing bounty for us to enjoy. We’ve worked and continue to work hard to reach our desired successes. Certainly, those we touch daily are grateful for the extra care, hard work and grace we put into all we do. Remember, your work is appreciated. No matter the circumstance, we have all earned a Happy Labor Day. Hope you had a good one.

Don’t miss our next MASWA Information Networking Get-Together, Thursday, September 22. Learn what others are doing and saying about the work being done on behalf of our older adults. See you then!

Georgene Connelly
MASWA President