Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Gift of Waking Up

Times are hard: a grotesque understatement for the millions of Americans with piling bills and seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. Headlines regarding the employment crisis scream across news pages on a daily basis.

"This Years Job Loss Total: 1.2 million" - CNN
"Jobless Rate at 14 Year High" -NY Times
"Recipients of Unemployment Benefits Rising Fast" - USA Today

The new is frightening and overwhelming. The constant communication from the media that American life is in dire straits stirs sadness and frustration. And four weeks into my own unemployment I understand the feeling that it may never get better. But as concerning as the outlook for finding new work may be, the reactions of some of the unemployed worry me even more.

Yesterday, a frustrated unemployed man held his ex-girlfriend hostage before finally letting her make a call to talk to her kids. Then, he killed her before being gunned down himself. A man in California got laid off too and he returned to his former place of employment and killed his co-workers as well as himself.

When did killing become the answer to joblessness? This week the number of unemployed people in the United States is up to nearly 11 million. The last thing all 11 million of us need to start doing is killing folks for no good reason. They say that misery loves company but aren't we all in enough misery?

Like I said, I get it. I am one of the most emotional people I know. I can cry for days. Anything can set me off from a good dog food commercial to watching some high school kid make a game winning save at his soccer game. I don't even have to know the people involved. I feel very strongly. Every emotion I experience naturally comes with tears. I feel very deeply. Something simple to others, hits me at the core and stays with me. I get the sadness, the depression, fear and the frustration.

But I also know that even when life is the worst it can get, it isn't over. And some days the only gift you get is waking up. But you start with that. The gift of waking up... And you keep waking up until the rest gets better.

No comments: