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Nell Mohney

On this Labor Day weekend, when the dignity and privilege of work are celebrated, let's remember that our primary purpose in life is not just to make money. More importantly, we should be concerned with building a life.

A recent report on retirees, compiled by AARP, indicates that persons over 65 who retire and continue to work live longer than those without any plans to stay productive.

Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is the question which God asked when he called Moses to lead the children out of Egypt. The question was, "What do you have in your hand?" Moses replied, "It's a rod." God commanded, "Cast it on the ground." Immediately, the rod became a serpent. Frightened, Moses turned away from it, but God further commanded, "Stretch forth your hand and pick it up by the tail." It became a rod again.

I believe that this was God's way of saying, "Give me what you have. I will bless it and others will be blessed through you."

A good example of this is George Washington Carver, who had only a peanut in his hand. He was an African-American man who had been born of a slave mother in Joplin, Mo., during the Civil War. When he was only a few months old, soldiers kidnapped him. Seeing the distress of his slave mother, her owner, Moses Carver, sent men out to find the child. He even gave a valuable racehorse to get the baby back.

Freed after the war, George Washington Carver determined that he would work his way through college and become a botanist. After he graduated from college, he was invited by Booker T. Washington to teach at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. He worked there for the remainder of his life. One of the fantastic things he did there was to take the common peanut and discover 300 uses for it. Hence, peanuts became an important Southern crop.

So on this special holiday, let's determine to use our talents and leave the world a little better place than when we found it.

Contact Nell Mohney at nellwmohney@comcast.net.

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