THERE’S MORE TO be celebrated Labor Day weekend than the last blast of summer and the coming of another autumn.

It’s time to celebrate working folks; not just the ones who own or manage businesses, but the ones who work for them.

Even Labor Day is a busy workday for those who bag groceries, work in restaurant kitchens, checkout customers at retail stores, bus tables, haul garbage, patrol our streets and highways, and defend our country.

They are the front-line workers who take our abuse when we don’t like their bosses’ policies or when the equipment malfunctions. They are the ones who often work combinations of jobs to make the rent or pay tuition or keep the children in sneakers and braces.

They are the ones who show up even when they don’t feel well, who stay as long as it takes to get the job done. Many will start counting the days this Labor Day until they’re laid off for the season.

Just because the world is more computerized doesn’t mean we should think any less of the blue-collar workforce. We need people who do manual labor as much as we need white-collar workers.

If your basement water drain is backing up, do you want a plumber or a website designer? If your vehicle breaks down on the highway, do you want the first guy to stop to be a mechanic or an attorney?

Would you rather be an unemployed carpenter or an “out of work” human resource manager? In real life, things break and wear out, so there’s always work for people who can either fix your old one or build you a new one.

You probably wouldn’t want the job of picking up other people’s garbage, stocking grocery shelves or fixing today’s high-tech cars and you really don’t want any of those choices as a career.

Why? Because they are not very glamorous or exciting jobs or so we think. The pay and benefits might not be very good, the working conditions aren’t ideal and the work itself tends to be monotonous, unless you take pride in your work.

The people who do those jobs are rarely called heroes or heroines. We found out otherwise last year during the pandemic. But they can be villains when they don’t do the work on time or when we want it done or as well as we want it done. Our economy works only because there are people willing to do the thankless jobs.

I’ll bet that if you asked your parents or grandparents about the various jobs they had over the past 20, 30, 40 or 50 years, they would talk for hours about them.

Many of those jobs no longer exist. They would recall things they liked and disliked about every job, and in each case, they would remember the lessons they learned and used in every succeeding job.

As you reminisce about previous work projects, you will feel good about each one of them, even if you did not like the work and would never do it again. No matter what kind of work you do, do it the best you can. If you give every task your best, the satisfaction will be your reward.

Remember, there is honor in all work. We may have many jobs over a lifetime. We may not have liked every job, but they taught us something. It might have been an appreciation for those who do that type of work.

We are products of our environment and our experiences. As we celebrate Labor Day, let’s remember that all work is honorable. Let’s recognize our friends and neighbors who help make our economic system the greatest on the planet.