Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Reply: The creativity to see beyond traditional employment, and the self-confidence to make that leap

Revised and extended, in reply to: Addicted To Unemployment

If I may, I think that part of the problem is that Lee isn’t making himself clear enough or fighting back the misunderstandings folks are having as regards what he's saying. (including mine, obviously, but not only mine.)

In a word (or three), what Lee is claiming the long-term unemployed lack (along with many of the rest of us, by the by) is the creativity to see a world outside/beyond traditional employment, and the self-confidence to get oneself there.

I was wrong. (...and so are a few others here… I won’t mention any names. Hopefully, you’ll see yourselves, and consider what I'm saying--and what Lee's saying too, assuming I've got this right.)

He isn’t saying that the unemployed are lazy or don’t want to work.
It isn’t about them seeing certain jobs as below them. (If anything, it’s realizing that the jobs they had before being fired/laid off were probably below them, in the sense that they didn’t nourish the soul or prepare them to make lemonade from the lemons they received. (This is the link Lee sent me that–along with this Seth Godin video, and another long exchange via twitter–finally flipped on the light.)
It also isn’t that the long term unemployed are cynically gaming the system and taking money they don’t need, or even that they’re trapped by the high?!? wages UI pays, and cannot work for less.

(For the record, yes there are lazy individuals, and unintelligent individuals, and dishonest individuals who collect unemployment insurance payments; I never denied there were… but they are the exception, not the rule, even among the long term unemployed.)

While we still have some differences–I remain skeptical that enough folks really can create their way into a job, even with a super boost of self-confidence (the lack of which is what Lee was referring to as “victimhood,” I believe–I understand where he’s coming from, and I see now that he wasn’t being anywhere near as condescending toward the long term unemployed as I thought he was.

Hopefully he’ll clarify anything I may’ve mis- or inartfully stated here, and join me in defending the long term unemployed/99ers against the slurs that he wasn’t making, but that some of y’all are

Submitted for moderator approval Approved March 23, 2011 at 11:11 am LS blog time

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