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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Worst Thing in the World

by Ben Johnson (bio)

In the book 1984 the protagonist is arrested and taken to the Ministry of Love to be tortured. Although he is subjected to all manner of physical and mental horrors he remains defiant. In the end, however, his spirit is broken when he is taken to Room 101. His torturer explains why Room 101 is so effective: "The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world." You see, the reason Room 101 is the worst thing in the world is because there you are subject to your own greatest fear.

I know exactly what I would be confronted with in Room 101. Unemployment. Even before I was married and had kids I shuddered at the thought that I someday might be a husband and a father and unemployed. Now, with a family of my own, I am even more acutely aware of the possibility.

On Saturday during the priesthood session the topic of unemployment was mentioned. The following quote was shared and it was like a punch to my chest:
A man out of work is of special moment to the Church because, deprived of his inheritance, he is on trial as Job was on trial—for his integrity. As days lengthen into weeks and months and even years of adversity, the hurt grows deeper, and he is sorely tempted to "curse God and die." ... The Church cannot hope to save a man on Sunday if during the week it is a complacent witness to the crucifixion of his soul.
Two days after priesthood I saw this video. It hurt me. The thought of that scene playing out around my own dinner table shook me.

I've never been unemployed, but I have seen first-hand what can happen. My brother lost his job once. It was a good job with excellent benefits and he loved it. Then one day the word came down that he was on the cut list. Even with months of advance of notice, even with a generous severance package, and even with many job prospects, my brother was crushed. He lost something like 30 pounds because his mind was frenzied. He was in a bad way. Eventually he found another great job but that span of unemployment was rough.

I hope none of you reading this are unemployed, but if you are I want to help. I don't claim to know any great networking secrets, nor do I have big business hookups. My circle of friends is small and my professional success is meager. But I do work for a pretty big company and we always have job openings. I also have an email account, a phone, and some time. Maybe, just maybe, I might be able to help. If nothing else you can at least know someone is willing to listen if you want to vent. Perhaps among all the good folks on MMM we could do something? I sincerely hope I am not out of line here. I don't mean to be. I'm just offering to help in my own puny way.

From the depths of my soul I'm asking you not to give up. I feel for my unemployed brothers out there and I pray that I can help.

Here is my contact info:
benjohnson3478 [at] gmail dot com
(eight oh one) four four eight-seven one seven two

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