<b>Jonathan Wright<\/b>\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nOn this Labor Day weekend it\u2019s worthwhile to look back on our own individual work histories and renew ourselves once more to the deep value of hard, honest work.\r\n\r\nMost of us remember our first real job. It was an exciting time when we put in those first few days of work and then received\u2014of all things\u2014payment for that work. No thrill quite compares to that of being presented with financial remuneration for labors completed.\r\n\r\nHard work is a huge portion of what has made our country great. People who have entered the workforce to put food on their families\u2019 tables have not only felt empowered to be more self-sufficient, but they have also experienced the simple pride in being a contributing part of society.\r\n\r\nEvery working person makes a meaningful contribution to the overall economy, adding resources and revenue that benefit all of us.\r\n\r\nEven apart from the financial end of it all, workers keep our businesses and institutions operational, making them viable parts of the community and enriching the lives of countless citizens.\r\n\r\nThese are often things we don\u2019t immediately see, and thus they\u2019re not always in the forefront of public thinking. They\u2019re enormously significant nonetheless.\r\n\r\nHard work keeps the lights on and the water flowing.\r\n\r\nHard work keeps money in the bank.\r\n\r\nHard work pays family bills.\r\n\r\nHard work keeps stomachs satisfied.\r\n\r\nHard work pays the doctor and dentist.\r\n\r\nHard work yields taxes that keep our cities safe, our streets in good repair, and our schools open.\r\n\r\nHard work pays for college education.\r\n\r\nHard work enables charitable giving.\r\n\r\nHard work funds dreams.\r\n\r\nIf you\u2019re part of America\u2019s current workforce, you have a lot to be proud of. Despite a sinking economy, rising prices on nearly everything, and exorbitant tax rates that eat up way too much of our paychecks\u2014it\u2019s still a supreme blessing from our Creator to be able to put in a good day\u2019s work and chart a firm course in life for ourselves and those we love.\r\n\r\nWe\u2019re indebted also to those with the know-how and vision to start and successfully grow businesses that provide much-needed jobs to willing workers. These experts have contributed invaluably to many, many lives in a country where opportunities abound.\r\n\r\nCelebrate the American dream this Monday\u2014and one of the most indispensable components of that dream.\r\n\r\nCelebrate labor.