The holidays and this time of year are supposed to be about being thankful and grateful for what one has in their life. As one of the unemployed in this Country right now, I have to confess I struggle with that reality at this time. I have much to be thankful for-I have good health, I have a roof over my head and yesterday, thanks to caring friends, I had a meal. Huge gifts for one with no means.
After a hard struggle in the Senate, HR 3548 was passed and signed into law by the President on November 6th. Meaningless political statements have been made by many Senators, including Senator Dodd "that we now can shop on Black Friday." The reality for many of the unemployed, is that the recent jobless extension benefits have not been released and most likely won't be in available till sometime in December, as bureaucracy takes over when these jobless benefits are handed over to the States to distribute. And herein lies the problem with our system. Many politicians see the passage of the jobless benefit extensions as something that can be later be used in the plus column when they come up for re-election. It is more about what is good for them as opposed to what is good for us the American people. There is a huge disconnect between our reality and their reality, as if they really were of our world, the jobless Bill would have been passed quickly. But instead, it becomes the vehicle for political posturing on both sides of the aisle.
It is hard to accurately describe to those of you who are employed, exactly what a struggle unemployment really is about. It affects in many ways-emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. It is easy to sit in front of your computer and judge what you do not know. We all have been called lazy and accused of taking a handout because we receive benefits. It is very hard for all of us to constantly send out resumes or to apply for jobs with pay that in most cases is less then what we used to make or the job titles that do not accurately reflect who we were in our other lives, but we are doing the best we can with this jobless economy. The loss of material possessions that we worked our whole lives for, gone in what seems like an instant. The material loss coupled with the mental devastation these losses bring, is a huge reality check and it takes a strong mental constitution to not fall in to despair and depression-as the loss is indicative of not only where you are in the present, but more a reminder of what you had in the past.
I have to confess, I have made this unemployment issue into my own personal soap box. It is my way of coping with the unemployment. I have written many articles that reference this issue, as I think it important it be made public and kept in the public view-even though there are times when the backlash that revolves around this topic, is negative. I started a forum and a Blog that offers up information and support concerning this issue, as I think it critical that the unemployed in this Country, continue to receive respect and be given a podium to express their own personal views of how this has affected them on a personal level. If nothing else, the forum and Blog, has provided a lifeline to others who walk the same path and fully comprehend the journey.
As we all move forward through the holidays, lets us all be cognizant of the others out there, who are less fortunate then we are. And may we all be diligent on holding our political representatives to fully representing all of us and to stop the political posturing that seems to be the way in Washington these days. My wish and hope, is that all of the States get their act together and get these funds out quickly to the unemployed, as the lifeline these benefits provide, is a string at best.