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Today would have been my father’s 98th birthday. He was a fierce laborer who worked tirelessly for his family. That should not have surprised us as he had thirteen Bronze Stars before he turned twenty-one.

As a young boy, I remember him working three different jobs during the day and evening hours; first rising at 3:00 a.m. to deliver items on his milk route; second, selling life insurance policies during the daylight hours; third, working at a local supermarket during the late afternoon and early evening hours. My mother, his bride of 67 years, worked as a waitress and raised four children. We were never hungry, dressed neatly and went to good schools. We were never wanting….well maybe getting rid of that 1956 Buick after 20+ years! I am eternally grateful for their sacrifices and work ethics.

This morning I read that Rick Warren, who was the leader of Saddleback Church for the past forty years, retired last weekend. He was an author of a life-changing book for many, “A Purpose Driven Life.” His labors undoubtedly helped the community spiritually, physically, mentally and professionally.

Labor Day for many is a well-deserved long weekend and the end of summer. We might be well-served to reflect on those family members, relatives and friends whose “labors” impacted our lives.

There will, of course, be the entitlement crowd whose philosophy is they deserve even more. They believe certain people were placed on this earth to serve them and their needs. You need to “labor” for ME. They have zero gratitude and an abundance of narcissism. Many ride the coattails of their family and then pound their chests in self-indulgent accomplishment glory.

On this Labor Day, be humble and thankful. Give thanks to those whose labors have enriched your lives. If they are alive, let them know your thoughts. This weekend, can your labors help the lives of those who have limited opportunities, as my parents did?  May their dedicated labors of love be an inspiration to you. Happy Labor Day!