Recently a friend was forced to resign her job. She had worked there over twenty years, originally volunteering to prove her worth for employment. Company politics and administration changes caused the job loss, a statement about the fragility of ones place on the lower rung of the employment food chain. Had it been me I would have suffered a bout of depression— but not her so far.
My friend has the gift of making people laugh and the innate courage to speak her mind when she thinks injustice is being done. She used to do that at her job, one reason she lost it when things changed. Not all administrators are alike.
My friend has many tasks ahead of her. She must, first and foremost, find another job. As you know in this economy that won’t be easy. She also must forgive those who did this to her, including the people way up top in the company. She will never meet these people but they are the ones who set the policies that trickle down causing such casualties. Finally, she must reconcile in herself what it means to be expendable. We all have illusions about our self-importance but in reality, push comes to shove, we are all expendable.
It is early yet. Only time will tell if she will wear down from the loss. My guess is that she won’t. When I asked her what she would do she said, “Oh, I’ll find something to do.” She is already volunteering, networking, and drawing upon the support offered by old colleagues and friends.
A person prone to depression asks, “Why me?” A person who resists depression says, “Why not me?” A person at risk for depression sits at home and focuses on the loss, stays angry, and sometimes seeks revenge. A person who resists depression immediately gets out and does something constructive. This may mean looking for a job as if that is the job. It may mean exercising, volunteering, or seeking out and accepting support from friends and family. Perhaps it means doing all of the above.
A person of faith also prays. She or he might go to daily mass. In any case, this faith includes believing that God finds personal and particular individual worth by virtue of the gift of life. This is something no person or circumstance can take away.
My friend is a “doer of the word.” She brings example to those who might be falling into depression due to similar circumstances. Let’s all remember this and follow that example. Let’s also pray for those who have lost their job.
Picture by Stephen Sweeney, Wikimedia commons