The “Help Wanted” project was started as a way for myself and a few others to write their honest, heart-felt stories of struggle and determination during a time when so many Americans are dealing with the scourge of unemployment.
Writing these blog entries have been “therapeutic” for me. At the same time, I hope that someone reads what I and the other bloggers have wrote, and realize that we are all in this together. Maybe others who are unemployed can identify with what we have to say and be helped in some way. That we are all one America, an America that is not about black and white, male or female, Republican or Democratic, conservative or liberal, or rich or poor. But that we are an America that supports their own, and is compassionate and caring to those who need it.
Unfortunately while writing this blog, I have seen the worst of what America has to offer. The nasty and unfortunate comments that I received in some of my blog entries, and the entries of others, are sickening and uncalled for. Why attack us? Why challenge our commitment to find a job? Who are you all to judge us? Why use the “Help Wanted” project as a platform for your political views? At first, I was hurt and confused. Then, I just became angry. They’re angry, perhaps unemployed themselves, and are not able to deal with the pressure, so they lash out. Although I hurt for those who are unemployed, it doesn’t justify anybody tearing down a person, in order to make themselves feel important. You want to feel important…volunteer, call your member of Congress to address the issue of unemployment, or just open your heart and lend an ear.
However, the negative comments that people have left are superseded by the positive actions of compassionate people. I can’t speak to specific actions with regards to my fellow bloggers, but for me, people have been incredibly kind: Jerome Jiles of Beltsville, Md., sent $100 and a $50 gift card to Baby ‘R Us to my wife and me. James Graves of McLean, Va., the father of one of my closest friends, also sent a substantial amount of money to us. Gail Terry, who owns her own career-coaching business, has offered to help me with resume writing, interviewing, etc. And Steven Hellem, President and CEO of Navista Public Affairs, was so moved by the blogs that he wants to start a campaign to address unemployment and get people back on their feet. The actions of compassionate and good people have been key in keeping me going through this rough period, and nullify any of the negativity brought forth by anonymous “keyboard commandos.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself,” Matthew 22:39 states. That’s what this society should strive for. Looking out for your fellow man and woman, whether they ask for help or not. I can’t begin to express my gratitude and thanks to everybody who has looked out for me, my fellow bloggers, and many others who are trying to “push through” every day.
For those who still find the need to be negative about what we are writing, and what this project is attempting to do, all I can say is….stop reading it!
Marc Johnson, a 36-year-old former Capitol Hill staffer from Ashburn, Va., has been unemployed for six months. Read more about him here. Read about the “Help Wanted” project here. Visit the project home page here.
Read more updates from Marc Johnson here .