Unemployment Neurosis

Man’s search for meaning may arouse inner tens...
Man’s search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium… (366/202 July 20, 2012) (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)

Unemployment numbers are often reported in the news media and the millions of those unemployed know that “they”are one of those invisible numbers. These are the times that I would love to strangle the ever smiling talking head and say, “I wish you were unemployed so that you might know how it feels to always have someone like you always talking about me.” Not that I wish any hard times on anyone. Talking heads only know what they are talking about because someone smarter than they are writing the copy for them.

Enough ranting. Victor Frankyl in Man’s Search For Meaning wrote about “Unemployment Neurosis”. It could be a good review for those who spout these numbers; give them something to think about.

When one is unemployed (and I have been in that number), there are twofold erroneous identifications assigned to this, according to Frankyl:

1. Being jobless was equated with being useless,

2. and being useless was equated with having a meaningless life.

His solution was to fill free time with some sort of unpaid but meaningful activity. By so doing, depression disappeared although their economic situation had not changed.

Gordon Allport stated that “Man needs something for the sake of which to live.” Nietzsche said that “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.” Back to Allport who underscores that to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.

Those that are unemployed are suffering, however, I am sure that they have found a meaning in life to keep on keeping on.  Frankyl teaches in Logotherapy there are three main avenues on which one arrives at meaning in life;

1. By creating a work or by doing a deed.

2. By experiencing something or encountering someone

3. (Most Important) Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy to triumph. Meaning is available in spite of suffering if the suffering is unavoidable. If it is avoidable, the meaningful thing to do is to remove its cause, for unnecessary suffering is masochistic rather than heroic.

Going back to unemployment,  there are many jobs open, however, egos tend to get in the way and one may think: “I have umpteen degrees; I cannot flip burgers for a living.” If one is hunger enough, one can. Then there are those to whom the government pays so much to them for not working that they have no reason to work, thus making them dependent on their government to support them and their off-springs for a very long time. This behavior tends to make them helpless as well as hopeless. How can they ever be more than they are today unless the government stops what they are perpetuating?

We are a proud country. Isn’t it time that we all return to some sort of work whether it is what we would like or not? As long as it is legal, then there is no shame in performing this job.

If you feel guilty because you are not working and you have stolen from those who are working, think of this: “You are free to commit a crime, to become guilty, but now you must overcome the guilt by changing for the better.” This means you must make amends for your crime.

The government has committed many crimes against its citizens. They have set themselves apart from regular folk when it is the regular folk who elected them. We did not choose them to have better healthcare than us; to be paid a lifetime salary without working; to have opportunities to travel on our dollar. We elected them to serve and if they are not serving then they are committing crimes against the citizens who elected them.

Politicians, take note. Death comes for us at any time and each of the moments of which our life consists, consists in dying, and that moment which we just lived will never recur…therefore, think of what you are doing, saying before taking action. Try a novel approach and tell the truth.

I am grateful that there is one last human freedom that no one can take away. Prisoners of war know it well; the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances. This may be the last of human freedoms.

I choose to believe that America will survive and sustain the suffering inflicted on the populace by the greedy, power-hungry politicians.

2 thoughts on “Unemployment Neurosis

  1. I have been unemployed, and it does not feel good. You reach points of desperation, and depression.

    Those in that situation must acknowledge the most important thing to do at this very moment is, to take the most positive steps that you can for the survival of you, and your immediate family. If there is pride involved here, you have to swallow it.

    There are government programs available to you. Take immediate responsibility for your household, and use these programs. It does not make you a moocher on society as one political candidate proclaimed while saying, and I paraphrase, this is not the population I would represent.

    Take responsibility, and look for work. Don’t put yourself further in a pressure cooker. It is more difficult to find work while in a pressure cooker.

    Taking responsibility through the process can, and will make you feel better. Been there, done that!

    Eventually, you will find work but, you must be diligent. You will once again be employed, and off the government programs.


  2. Your points are well taken. There are times when we have to rely on what the government can offer in the way of help. I am hopeful that those who are not looking would think about what they are perpetuating.
    Thank you for reading and commenting.


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