Take A Breath, Smile & Pass It On…written by Tracy Bryan

shutterstock_54416050It’s Labor Day Weekend in the United States, US Virgin Islands, Canada, Bermuda and Puerto Rico this weekend. While most of these nations will be barbecuing, partying and enjoying their last days of summer, hopefully they’ll also be remembering to stop and feel grateful for this holiday.

shutterstock_6677980With all the negative current news about same-sex marriage ruling backlashes, European refugee and migrant crises, LGBTQI community hate crimes, political candidate grandstanding, escalating childhood obesity and so on and so on…it's exhausting and all this negative news can bring us down... sometimes we forget what the heck we are working for!

shutterstock_128678312We've worked hard to get where we are. We have so far to go still, but we've made progress. Time for a holiday. It’s time to catch our breath, take another deep breath in and smile. What is there to smile about?

DO WE NEED A REASON TO SMILE?

Yes we do. Okay here goes…

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Smile for… Equality

Sweden approving same sex marriage legislation and South Africa becoming the fifth nation to sanction gay marriage, after the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Canada. In 1960, interracial marriage was still illegal in 31 US states out of 50. What?

 

Smile for… Familyshutterstock_288508532

CEO Helps 3 Moms See Hero Sons Honored in Paris, Lends His Jet. Three American heroes were scheduled to receive the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, last Monday. Their moms were invited to the ceremony, but had no way to get to Paris on time.

And for animal activism…Rare Sumatran Rhino From US Zoo Moves to Asia to Save His Species… and Therapy Wolves Become Guides for Troubled Teens.

 

shutterstock_101375866Smile for… Health & Wellness

An unprecedented expansion of trans-inclusive protections, the Obama administration proposed a new federal rule to ensure trans-inclusive health care. Also, adding to much gay pride worldwide, the Great New York State Fair celebrates first-ever LGBT Pride Day.

 

Smile for… Saving the Planet (instead of trying to run it)

Paris will go a day without motorized traffic, giving the city over to pedestrians and bikers. Free of traffic congestion, noise pollution and vehicle emissions, the Day Without Cars will transform the physical and auditory landscape, enabling views and revealing ambient sounds. And in other news that holds this world together… Homeless people planted a massive organic garden to provide food for an entire shelter. shutterstock_235032418

 

shutterstock_283669454Smile for… Kids

Recent studies show that the rates of obesity among young children ages 2-5 years has declined in the last decade, while another study found that obesity is declining in low-income preschoolers in 19 states. These results suggest that we are making progress in our efforts to improve the health of our next generation!

 

Many reasons to smile. Now let’s go enjoy our time off-we’ve worked hard for it!

And… Remember to take a deep breath, smile and pass it onshutterstock_88265581

 

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

“laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” (In from a letter to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1810)
 shutterstock_103611593Tracy Bryan is a self-published author for kids aged 2-11. She writes whimsical picture books about emotions, self-esteem, values and coping skills. Tracy also likes to tackle social issues and speak directly to her readers about important topics that affect everyone. Tracy lives in Central Florida with her family and two dogs Jack and Rusty! Please visit Tracy's website tracybryan.com or email her at tracy@tracybryan.com

 shutterstock_79106035Thank you to the following websites that were uses as resources for this post. News stories courtesy of goodnewsnetwork.org, sunnyskyz.com, lgbtqnation.com, huffingtonpost.com, blogs.usda.gov, glaad.org

 

A bit of Labor Day history…

shutterstock_213493150European…History has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted - people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we'll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why Europe  celebrates May Day. (iww.org)

United States…Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events. (History.com)

Canada…While most Americans likely consider Labor Day a uniquely American experience, but in all reality, American Labor Day has its origins in Canada. Stemming from 1870’s labor disputes in Toronto, in 1872 a parade was held in support of a strike against the (ready for this?) 58 hour workweek. As a result, 24 union leaders who were responsible for organizing the event and were arrested under anti-union laws. (huffingtonpost.com)

Internationally… The Labor Day holiday, or Labour Day, is celebrated in the United States and countries such as US Virgin Islands, Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Australia at different times of the year than most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday many European countries including (but not exclusive to): Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.  It is also celebrated in countries in Central America, such as Costa Rica and Panama, and in some parts of the Caribbean, including Cuba. It is also a national holiday in Mexico. In South America, it is observed in countries such as: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. May 1 is also a national holiday in the Russian Federation and Asian countries such as China, Thailand, and Vietnam. (timeanddate.com)

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