Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Joblessness of young males increasing.

The advances and declines of jobs regarding women not withstanding, I have been concerned for decades about the work ethic of the male population in the United States and more specifically, right here in this part of Michigan where I live. Being involved in a mentoring program for decades I had the opportunity too hear dozens of points of view on just why these guys couldn't find a job. Perspective, as influential as it is, is not necessarily the truth. How would you feel if you grew up with absolutely no expectations of ever finding any kind of job? Add to that a constant barrage of assaults on yourself as a person of worth. So many males grow up in that sort of atmosphere and as a result have absolutely no hope other than having to be taken care of by either the government or another type of enabler. I'm not saying that the entire blame for the high rate of joblessness lies with the parents/parent or school or neighborhood or society in general but, in my opinion at least part of it does. A male or female raised without encouragement has a huge amount of negativity to overcome in the job market. they are not expected to do much by those who are supposed to care so they don't expect much and don't accomplish much and then are justified in their poverty. About the only thing they feel they can do is produce children by whoever they happen to be with at the time. After all, producing a child is a "manly" thing to do in that world. When all else fails, produce  a child and don't be concerned about supporting that child either, the government will do it for you.

The answer to this crisis? Who am I to say? I was raised in an entirely different atmosphere. I was encouraged to go out and accomplish something on a daily basis. I was told regularly that if I made a mistake I would learn from it and not make that mistake again. I was also told that I would pay the consequences of my choices, good or bad. Sometimes my choices were not so good but my folks didn't take the consequences away. Instead, they stood by me while I paid the price. They reminded me that I was strong enough to move on. Dozens and dozens of the young males I talked to in the mentoring program did not experience that. It must be a difficult situation to deal with.

As far as an answer, I believe wholeheartedly that young men can learn to overcome the past and develop into productive and happy individuals with the proper training and realistic expectations. Beginning with the most rudimentary issues of proper speech, personal cleanliness, manners, issues of respect, acceptance of consequences, handling of money and achievement of personal goals. A big order I know. It's far easier to simply pay them off with some type of assistance, telling them that they are a product of their environment and they can always blame someone else for their situation.

I wonder when we will, as a nation of individuals, finally turn back the clock and do the right thing, not the easy thing? The reason I'm bringing this up today is that I received a thank you phone call from one of the guys involved in the mentoring over 15 years ago. He didn't have much time but he just wanted to tell me I was right. He could learn and get a job if he tried. He is working at the same job for over 8 years now after several trials and errors. He got married a while back, he and his wife bought a small starter home last year and they hope to have children some day. Wow! Can't beat hearing something like that on a beautiful Spring day.
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