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Day by day

There was a buzz, or whatever it’s called these days, on Facebook recently including lamentations over not having Martin Luther King Day off. There were comments about how Veterans Day should be a day off too for students and workers.

My question is this: what does having a day off have to do with honoring anyone or anything? I wonder how many of the people wanting the day off will focus on the supposed honoree. If you have Martin Luther King Day off work or your kids don’t go to school, would you and/or your kids rent videos that tell the civil rights story? Would you find a lecture in your area or stream one on-line to learn about Dr. King and his legacy? If you have Veterans’ Day off, will you attend memorial services or volunteer to visit a vet in a nursing home? What, exactly, do you do on those days off that is “honoring”?

What if those days weren’t days off, but were “Focus Days”? Schools, especially, could spend the day focusing on civil rights or veterans’ issues. Speakers could talk about history, activism, how these issues have impacted artists. How stimulating would it be for kids at the Career Center to learn about how the military has driven mechanical and technical advances? How valuable would it be for a class to be divided into groups to do role plays wearing badges that identify them as different races, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds? Nice change of pace for the kids, seems to me. Kind of a “real life” experience in school imagine.

Why couldn’t a workplace have a “Long Lunch” program with people presenting information about all those things mentioned above? Maybe a “tradeshow” format with booths manned by experts in history, programs now available, and plans for related activity in the future?

Another question: Can’t a person “celebrate or “honor” a person or cause on a Sunday? You could create all the “holidays” you want that way, right?

I’m all for recognizing and supporting people and causes deserving of our attention and respect. If, in fact, that’s what we do when we have the opportunity. In addition, aren’t we cheapening our cause if we support it one day a year? If it has value, we should focus on it more than that.

And how about Labor Day, the day we celebrate the working man by not working. I’m OK with that. It’s a vacation day and we deserve those. Matter of fact, if Labor Day is a mini-vacation-type day and we expand that when we take actual vacations, doesn’t that support the idea in the previous paragraph? Shouldn’t we extend important things in our lives beyond a 24 hour span?

Shouldn’t we work hard, play hard, honor hard, support hard? This is a sort of “put your actions where your mouth is” idea. Or, paraphrasing Mike on “The Middle” “Are you the yammer or the hammer?” Here’s an outside-the-box idea I doubt if it will catch on. but if you “celebrate” Labor Day by not working, how ’bout working for free on bosses’ day?