Letters from the

PRESIDENT

What’s the Worst Job You’ve Ever Had?

I’ve written before about the best job I ever had, but the worst job is a whole different story.  

The worst job I’ve ever had has been the work of finding a job.  Twice in my life, I’ve lost a job. Both times came as a complete surprise, not only to me but also to my three kids and wife (who was staying at home with them at the time).  

Looking for work stinks.  It’s like standing behind the fence at a water park and seeing your friends floating down the lazy river while you’re trying to find a swimsuit and some money to get in, with neither of them in sight.

I’ve had difficult jobs before.  I did ten hour shifts in an auto parts assembly shop in the summer of ’88 when the temperatures stayed in the 90’s and the shop was hotter than that.  I picked grapes on a farm in Israel one summer where we worked 13 hour days for one month straight. Since college, I’ve worked in places where conflict-averse leaders allowed a culture of petulant conflict to reign.  But man, they were jobs. And no matter how bad things were around me, I went home at night feeling good about the fact that I worked another day and was going to get paid for it. I can’t say that I ever really had a bad job other than the work of looking for work without one.

St. John Paul II wrote in On Human Work, “Work is a good thing for man–a good thing for his humanity–because through work man not  only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes ‘more a  human being.’”

Last week, Pope Francis spoke to thousands of rock cutters in Madagascar about the dignity of work.  He was speaking to people who were paid very little but made more shaping rock than they did picking garbage in the dump next to the mountain.  And the Pope told them that what they are doing “is a song of hope that refutes and silences any suggestion that some things are inevitable. ‘Let us say it forcefully: Poverty is not inevitable!’”

As a supporter of International Samaritan, you have the opportunity to show that poverty is not inevitable.  You can help the children growing up near a dump to get out of a life toiling in it and into a school and job consistent with their gifts and dreams. 

Pope Francis addressing the rock cutters in Madagascar.
Photo by Alessandra Tarantino.

It’s as easy as going to our donate page to help a young one through grade school or an older one through college.  Be the song of hope for them that says forcefully, poverty is not inevitable.

Pictured above are four of our graduates from around the world. From top left to bottom right, we have Josefa, employed an accountant; Rahel, employed as a teacher; Miguel, employed as a mechanic; and Teddy, employed as a driver.

What’s the Worst Job You’ve Ever Had?

I’ve written before about the best job I ever had, but the worst job is a whole different story.   The worst job I’ve ever had has been the work of finding a job.  Twice in my life, I’ve lost a job. Both times came as a complete surprise, not only to me but also to my...

I am the Champion

If you haven’t done so already, take two minutes to check out the performance of the Detroit Youth Choir on America’s Got Talent last week.  Just click on the picture below for almost instant joy:I don’t know any of the young people in this choir, but I’ve spent most...

The Sound of Silence in Nicaragua

I recently returned from a week visiting with our scholars and partners in Nicaragua and what stunned me more than anything else about Nicaragua was the silence.  Since the death of more than 300 protestors in the streets last year, it feels like half the nation has...

Where are the Bright Spots in your Life?

My heart aches for the times we live in.  The atrocities committed in Dayton and El Paso this past weekend don’t seem like isolated events.  They seem like the inevitable result of living in a world consumed with glorifying oneself on social media, with demonizing...

What Coco Gauff and our Scholars Have in Common

Last week, a 15-year-old girl named Coco became the youngest person ever to win three matches at Wimbledon, including an awe-inspiring comeback after being down 6-3 and 5-2 in the second match.  The thrill of that victory, and the beautiful bond so evident between her...

Straight Out, Flat Out, and Honest.

One of my strengths is that I never see a glass as half full;  I see it as mostly full almost all the time.  My natural optimism helps me in my work, but I've learned that it can also hurt me.  Sometimes the glass can actually be half empty—or even completely empty...

About Us

International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan.

info@intsam.org

(734) 222-0701

803 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

M-F: 9am-5pm, S-S: Closed