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.

Check out my Lions Facemask! #LionsFacemask

This past Tuesday night as I was doing the dishes, my daughter called.  She’s a freshman living on campus at a nearby college, and she asked if I wanted to meet her for breakfast the next morning.“What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned, “Did you run out of...

Walk in Wonder with us Next Wednesday Night

In a letter we sent out to our supporters this week, I wrote about the “awe” that our scholarship students show in approaching their studies as a way out of a life of working in the garbage dump that lies waiting outside their door.  I have found that that same sense...

Heroes of Faith who Have Shaped Us

When I interviewed for this position last year, I was intrigued by the fifth bullet point in the job description: Articulate the spiritual values and policies to execute the mission of International Samaritan and develop an internal culture that supports those values....