Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hopeless people...

Yesterday, while hanging out on RfM, I ran across a post by a woman with a master's degree in an arts related field.  She had been a foster kid growing up and was raised Mormon by at least one set of foster parents.  She wanted to know if employers could sense her "Mormon" upbringing and was that why they weren't hiring her?

My response to her is that her lack of luck job hunting likely has nothing to do with being a Mormon either now or in the past.  The economy simply sucks right now.  A lot of educated, qualified people aren't finding well paying work for a lot of different reasons.

I have a friend with whom I went to college.  He majored in theatre and is a very talented guy.  He can sing, act, do makeup, make costumes, do photography, and he's a pretty good writer, too.  At one time, he had a decent job in his field.

Then he decided to move back to his hometown because he has an elderly aunt who is very sick and has no one to help her.  He basically jumped onto a sinking ship.  He's had a terrible time finding work and has been fired from several jobs.  Some of it has to do with the fact that his health isn't so good.  Some has to do with his rather unconventional persona.  My friend is both obviously gay and very obese.  He doesn't fit in to his hometown, where people tend to be very conservative.

At least a couple of times a week, he posts on Facebook about his plight.  At one point, he talked about starting a photography business.  He even set up a crowdfunding account, which I donated $100 to.  Sadly, that idea never came to fruition.  At least I can say I helped him buy some food, right?  His hot water heater broke a couple of months ago.  He's been taking cold showers ever since. I'm wondering if I should send him a metal bucket and an immersion heater.  That's how I took showers in Armenia when we had no hot water.

Really, what I want to tell my friend is that he needs to save himself.  He needs to get out of that crappy town where he lives and into an area where he can succeed.  Right now, he's in no shape to help his aunt.  He can't even help himself.  They even tell you on an airplane to put your own oxygen mask on before you help someone else with theirs.  Unfortunately, my friend refuses to consider that.  Or maybe he's just making excuses.  It's possible that his decision to come back "home" has less to do with his aunt and more to do with his not succeeding elsewhere.  But I don't know...  if it were me, I don't think I'd be willing to sabotage my life for someone else.  And even if he did want to move, that would cost money he doesn't have.

The lady on RfM was lamenting because she lives in southern California and can't find work that pays enough for her to live on.  She's competing for low level, low paying jobs with other people like her.  A lot of people gave her advice, most of which she said didn't apply to her situation or wouldn't work for her.

Many people were advocating for the poster on RfM to move out of southern California.  She wants to work in the arts, but she can't find any work.  Her other option, according to her, is moving to New York City.  New York is too cold for her to be homeless.  Well jeez... maybe it's time to make peace with the fact that you need to find a new line of work?  Maybe it's time to relocate.

One thing I thought was interesting was that a lot of people had decided to leave the United States.  On RfM, there are many US expats living in a vast array of countries around the world.  Even Bill and I live outside of the US.  Frankly, we're prepared to stay outside of the US.  Neither of us has any burning desire to go back there anytime soon.

A lot of people don't like the idea of moving abroad.  It's too scary to think about how to make it in another country, especially when the language is a problem.  The truth is, being able to speak English can get you places.  A lot of people outside of English speaking countries want to learn the language.  In some places, you can make a decent living simply teaching people.

I know it's hard to consider leaving your homeland, though.  Leaving a comfort zone is never easy.  Still, I have to wonder how comfortable a person can be while constantly threatened with homelessness and unemployment.  It sure would make me feel hopeless if we had trouble paying the rent or the rest of our bills.    

I was sitting there telling Bill about this thread and reading the woman's response to her plea for help.  I thought to myself, well geez... it sounds like your situation is hopeless.  You might as well kill yourself.

Before anyone gets too shocked by that idea, please understand I am not actually advocating for anyone to commit suicide.  It's just that when your situation is so bleak and nothing anyone suggests will help you, one wonders what on Earth to do.  No matter what, we all have to die sometime.  If your life is going down the drain and you have no one and nothing, suicide is always an option.  But if I were to suggest that, a lot of people would be outraged and rightly so.  So if you haven't decided to give up on life, you have to come up with some way to survive.  Otherwise, you might as well be dead.


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