I’m doing it again. Working on Memorial Day. To be fair, it’s not “work” work, it’s more work I want to be “work” work. I’m working on a dream. A project and projects that have long been passions of mine, the things that inspire me, and the not so secret dream I have for my own future.
While other people spend the day camping, going for a picnic and visiting the memorials (and there is nothing wrong with this), I’ll spend most of mine at the computer, working (most, not all). I’m not telling you this to brag or to guilt you into going to work yourself. I’m writing about it to offer you a different perspective about this day.
My mother is a veteran. In the first gulf war she left for months to a place I knew nothing about, and it scared the shit out of me. She was lucky enough to come back, many others were not. Others kids had their fears realized, their parents did not come home .
Sufficed to say, much has been sacrificed to give me the opportunity to work on Memorial Day. Countless people have fought and died so that I might sit here at my computer and explore dreams, hopes, passions and purposeful ideas without worrying about a bomb overhead or censorship sending me to a work camp. Whether by choice or by conscription (draft) millions of people before gave up this opportunity, directly or indirectly, for me.
I work today because it is my responsibility to these people. These sacrifices were made so that I might work, so that I might have the relative comfort to pursue something bigger than myself, to explore things I struggle to truly believe are possible, to take a moon shot, to make things better, to create something, even the smallest of somethings, that might leave this world a little better than I found it.
I work today to acknowledge fully the idea that people have risked death for ideas, for dreams, that today I only need risk my time and my income to pursue. They put their life on the line so I might only have to put my lively hood on the line, to give up one sunny spring day. They paid the ultimate price and it allows me to dream out loud with the very nominal cost of my time.
The end of the fight, or the absence of it at my doorstep, does not remove the need to keep fighting. What it allows is the ability to dual with words instead of weapons, to attack ideas instead of people, to convince others of a better path by destroying fears instead of cities.
I will challenge my own thoughts and the thoughts of others out of respect. I will push myself into uncomfortable ideas, challenge myself to dream bigger, and take steps in that direction as an act of reverence.
I will work motivated by the idea that great people died not to simply let me have a relaxing Monday off work, but so I might take advantage of this day to pursue dreams they were unable to pursue. And I feel their presence with each keystroke.
I will work because I am fortunate enough to do so. I will work because working on something I care about is my gift, my responsibility, and my opportunity as an American. The flag outside says work is in session, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m working on Memorial Day because I can, and that’s a big deal.