In America, we are all about hard work. We are flooded with catchphrases about it. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Work hard, play hard. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
We never stop to ask why it all has to be so hard.
People are celebrated for never taking a day off or having multiple side businesses that produce multiple streams of income. Productivity is the priority.
We do not prioritize rest.
The saying goes, if you do not make time for your wellness, one day you will have to make time for your illness. In other words, if you do not make time for rest, you will be forced to rest.
The Nap Ministry is a movement focused on rest as a form of resistance – resisting the pressure to constantly grind, produce and work. The movement was founded by Tricia Hersey.
“Black people are dying from sleep deprivation and our resistance to rest is a social justice and public health issue,” said Hersey.
Our minds and bodies are designed to rest a certain amount each day. We would not force a baby to wake up early and start crawling, but we force ourselves to work more and more. Stay up later. Check off one more task on the To Do list. Never. Stop. Working.
Generations before us may not have had the luxury of resting. For those who were forced into labor or required to work to meet the family’s needs, they could not take a day off.
Now, thanks to their years of labor, many of us are able to finally relax. Let us rest in their honor.
This Labor Day weekend, for those of us who are able, let us treat ourselves to some well-deserved rest. Put our feet up, relax our minds and let us fight the urge to do. Just be. Just rest.
This editorial was composed by Indianapolis Recorder Editor-in-Chief Camike Jones. For more news from the Indianapolis Recorder, click here.