Do we still celebrate Labour Day? If so what does it mean to you?

March 07th 2017

Labour Day fast approaches, it’s a great chance to make the most of what might be the last of good weather, daylight savings is about to end, the children need a little break. It’s been tough returning to work after the Christmas holidays, settling the Children back into school and finding a routine that will maximize our free time, time to spend with family and friends, catching up on the things we would like to do.

Isn’t this why the eight hour day came about?  The unions negotiated in the 1850’s, to give us the eight hour day, but what have we done with it?  Where has it gone?

Have we forgotten the 888 symbol, the symbol that reminds us of eight hours labour, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest?  You can find 888 on the Golden Globe Building, Spring Street Melbourne, and on many buildings in cities around Australia.  If this isn’t enough to remind us to look after ourselves and have balance in our lives, we have the poem by Lawson “Freedom on the Wallaby.”  Have we really just taken for granted the enormous amount of hard work our forbearers went through to give us the 8 hour day?

All that work done by our forbearers! I wonder what they would think now!

We are working longer, more intense days with stress levels soaring, giving social dysfunctions and even suicide is on the rise. Our forbearers fought long and hard to leave us a great legacy.  What have we done?

How do we get off this relentless treadmill of life? Or is it just the way it is?

No!  Stop.  If we don’t change something now, nothing will change.  Is this what you want for your children, their children and the children to follow?

Business large and small are seeing the merit of rewarding their employees with exercises, meditation/mindfulness, gardens to tend to, all things in a workplace we once would have thought too farfetched, even to contemplate.

Much of this realization and techniques come from looking to the past to find calm, peace, tranquillity, leading to elevated productivity.

Today, It is not uncommon to hear about organizations that are embracing the ancient Eastern practice of Vipassana retreats (e.g. a weekend in complete silence), Yoga, silent meditation, even Ayurvedic diets (eating foods that works for your personal Dosha, body type) being discussed at the “water fountain” and even Ayurvedic foods being served in canteens.

There is an old saying “look after your worker and the workers will look after your business.”  I think this is as truthful for today, as it was for yesterday.  All these natural historical techniques can produce feelings of taking responsibility for calmness, rejuvenation, stress free, mental and physical wellbeing.  The surprising fact about these techniques is that you don’t have to do the “No Pain No Gain” thing.  Much more can be achieve when the body and mind come together and work in peace and harmony.  So does this mean the tough and aggressive approaches are so “yesterday?”  I believe they are.  We are coming into an era whereby we understand so much more about the importance of being encouraged to take care and being responsibility for oneself.

My hope is that our forbearers hard work has not gone by the way, but is making a huge comeback to achieve the 888, eight hours labour, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest.   And just maybe, if we were too followed these natural historical techniques, we would be calmer, stress free and things like bullying, fatigue, aggression etc. might melt away and allow us to live, work and play harmoniously with those we have contact with and beyond.

Can you, for just one moment, imagine a world of bliss, peace and togetherness?  It starts with just one person and just one more person and just one more person next thing it is a reality.

If you would like to challenge yourself or your staff, to a weekend of calm, bliss and magic, visit to find more information on how you can help your fellow worker and yourself.

Enjoy your Labour Day and remember why we have a holiday.

Written by Pauline Rooney