There is a Hell. It’s when a man has a family to support, has his health, and is ready to work, and there is no work to do. When he stands with empty hands and sees his children going hungry, his wife without the things to do with. I hope you never have to try it.” ~ Bendigo Shafter
How could this be? How could I be living in America in 2008 and my kids are going hungry?
What have I done? How did I get to the point where I’ve managed to put my family into a position where not only am I out of work, but there’s no work to do here in Northern Wisconsin that I’m even qualified to do?
Just as having the Freedom to Fail is an important and vital part of our lives, the freedom to work is equally important and powerful. The above quote is from Louis L’Amore’s book “Bendigo Shafter.” And while the book is set in the 19th century, the lesson is as important for us today as it ever was.
Our country has suffered through our longest period of high unemployment (over 7%) in our history. Add in the fact that many people have simply stopped looking for work and you being to realize that there are many many people who are not working who would like to.
Yesterday I talked about The Busboy and the Gardener Are Doing Just Fine. My friend who runs the lawn care business keeps his employees’ wages low both so that he can afford to make a living, but also so that he can afford to hire people for the sake of allowing them to have a job.
A couple months ago I did a weeklong series of stories on “Leaving WordPerfect and Going to Microsoft.” At that point I promised I’d return to the that extended storytelling.
Next week is that time. 2008 was probably the worst time in my life. I ended up broke, deep in debt, stuck in a house that the bank was going to repossess and in a part of the country that definitely did not need computer skills.
It’s a tale of deception, betrayal, suffering, depression, redemption, miracles, and ultimately the understanding that we all fail and have to learn to forgive ourselves and forgive others. It will run all next week. I hope you’ll tune in.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, blogger and IT Consultant. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife and thirteen children. He’s been in the Hell that Bendigo Shafter describes. It’s not as bad as you might think. . .it’s worse.