With unemployment rates pushing double digits in some American states, this Labor Day is not as happy as it could be. The day was set aside to honor those who labor to keep the American economy strong. Hard work was one of the founding principles upon which America was founded. Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the Declaration of Independence and later President of the United States, said, “I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Later, the great inventor Thomas Alva Edison said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” And author David Bly has written, “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” Although the current recession has had some tragic outcomes for those who have faced unemployment, the recession has also caused many Americans to appreciate the value of a job — any job. America, as well as other countries, will find that the way out of this recession passes through the trenches in which honest men and women are working hard to secure a better future. It will then soar past the dreams of other hard working visionaries, who not only want a better future but see it in their imaginations. Rolf Jensen, of the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, insists, “Behind every technological breakthrough there lies a dream. Behind every new product there lies a dream. Dreams create realities — through hard work.” Today, however, is a day to express appreciation for hard work being done to bring us out of recession as well as to dream about a brighter future. It’s also a day, if you have a job, to be grateful for it.