Tag Archives: suffering

For May Day

Dear friends and family,

Tomorrow’s May Day. Historically it commemorates a strike that took place in Chicago in 1886. Those workers were fighting for an 8 hour work day then but the fight, essentially, was for time. Time to be. Time to breathe. Time to talk and think and share. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that work, ambition, and outcomes drive our lives forward today. In some cases we work or are worked excessively. While we’re paid in money for this (though in many cases not enough, and sometimes way too much) we pay for it with our thoughts, feelings, and bodies. These priceless aspects of ourselves–the very things that make work possible at all–are consumed with work, and we suffer. Others suffer. This is a necessary suffering, of course. But it is suffering nonetheless. The struggle with that feeling is the worker’s struggle, and all of us participate in it whether we like to think about it or not. So take the day tomorrow. Take it for yourself. Take it to appreciate everything you have that you can’t sell. For everything you won’t sell. Your heart, your mind, your freedom–whatever those mean to you. If you don’t want to leave work, find a group of people after work to talk to. Go somewhere public. A park, a statehouse, a courthouse. If you don’t want to go somewhere public, just hear yourself think for a second. Take out the headphones. Turn off the computer. Hide your cell phone. Turn off the television. Turn off the lights. Hold someone’s hand. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel your heart beating. You’re alive, for God’s sake. Celebrate it.

In solidarity,
Dave