A Job Gives Us Hope

Aug 06 2013

The July jobs figures are not encouraging. Only 162,000 jobs were added. Many part time. 60 percent were in low-paying fields like food service, home health care, and temp work, even though they make up just 22 percent of total employment. Still, I’ve had arguments with people on my TV and radio shows who think that taking a low-paying or part time job is somehow beneath the dignity of someone with a college degree. That it’s better to camp out on mom’s couch for a few years until the current administration blows over, and then hope the perfect job will arrive on the door step, gift-wrapped. Well, I’ll let them in on a secret: not only is that not going to happen, but even if it did, they’d probably fail at that great job, because they haven’t learned the many important little skills you develop just from working at any job.

I’ve had a paying job since I was 14. It empowered me to become the first male in my family lineage to graduate high school and go to college. When I was still a teenager, I had 2 jobs for a while—my job at KXAR Radio in Hope, Arkansas, helped me learn how to communicate, think on my feet, keep up with world events, and develop much needed confidence and overcome my innate fear of crowds. My job at JC Penney taught me the hard work involved in unloading freight trucks, stocking merchandise and made me to this day get really ticked off when people put their hands on the glass of a door instead of using the handle, because I was the kid that had to run to the front of the store with the Windex. I’ve lost jobs I’ve wanted, including one that came with a pretty nice house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. I’ve often been paid less than what I thought I was worth, and sometimes I’ve been paid more than I deserved, but less than what I would have liked. I’ve had jobs that ended and I had no idea what I would do to pay my bills or feed my family, but I found something, even when it was not what I was educated to do or enjoyed doing. If I were unable to find a job—even a menial one far below my capacity -- I’m not sure I could handle it. I would probably go door to door offering to sweep porches or rake leaves just to be doing something. I’ve worked so long I don’t know how to not work. And it’s one reason that I think the highest urgency of our government is creating the opportunities so people can work. A job is not just how we put bread on our table. It’s how we put life and hope in our soul.

Comments 1-2 of 2

  • Matthew Harpin

    08/13/2013 01:37 AM

    Your point on working is so well-said and I could not agree more. We are losing generations today due to lack of work ethic and being downright lazy. Even on my days off from my regular job I find it hard not to be doing something productive with my day. Thank goodness I had great parents who taught me life lessons on God, family, working hard, and pride of ownership!

  • Philinda Minor

    08/07/2013 03:06 PM

    Good and true words and words we should live by, Gov. Huckabee. BTW, I'm very sorry you lost the job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, too!

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