Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish philosopher, essayist, teacher, and historian during the Victorian era and the man who gave us the wonderful quote that appears on this stamp. Today is Labor Day in the United States and Canada. The holiday did not exist back in Carlyle's day, but a day set aside to honor the worker is something I think he would have approved of.
Too many people these days don't get the significance of this holiday. It isn't about that last summer picnic or the day before school begins and it isn't about sales at the mall and your favorite department stores. Today is about the worker and about the unions that have made our laborers strong. (I intend to go and walk a picket line with hotel workers a bit later on and to see up close the importance of our labor movement).
Labor is something that every single one of us does at some point. Labor really is life! We need to work to earn money and we need to work to keep our bodies active and strong. While those picnics and sales are fine, take a moment and pause to think about the real reason for this day and be thankful for our strong labor movement.
Quoting Carlyle: "Labour is Life: from the inmost heart of the Worker rises his god-given Force, the sacred celestial Life-essence breathed into him by Almighty God; from his inmost heart awakens him to all nobleness; to all knowledge, 'self-knowledge' and much else, so soon as Work fitly begins."