A worthy read
A dear blogging friend and I have been exchanging e-mails of late commiserating about the challenge that our adult children are having at finding employment, college entrance, or any attempt at a second chance. It seems in our ligative society, employers are not willing to take a risk at giving an employee a second chance to become a wholly functioning human being. When we stop being willing to balance the potential of liability with the gift of compassion, we must ask ourselves: has society stopped offering the opportunity to enhance the lives of those who are courageously trying to make their way through life in spite of challenge, addiction, or youthful mistakes? I know this is a complicated issue; I, of course, bring the perspective of a parent to the topic, not an employer. Still, I am also someone who was, long ago, given a second chance and have spent my life walking in that redemption.
While having coffee and reading my local paper this morning, I read with astonishment this very articulate article. Written by Ann Bauer of St. Louis Park, Minnesota and published in The Washington Post, Willing and able, but treated as unemployable, is a compelling article that stirred my moral indignation! Please click on it and read each and every word. While her son's disability may not be my son's disability, the ramifications are the same. As blessed as our culture remains, do we not have a moral obligation to provide employment opportunities for all who are willing and able?
I have erased (several times) most of what I could say on this subject--it is a very personal topic in my home and heart. My only real agenda today is to spread the word about Ms. Bauer's great article. If you have a child who struggles to live independently, you will appreciate reading this first-hand perspective. If you do not have a child who struggles, you will gain an understanding for those who do. If you know of someone who struggles with this issue, please spread the word. While this article is specific to Autism, there are millions of others who suffer from countless other barriers to successful employment and/or achievement. It is worth the few moments you will spend; for the cost of awareness is never higher than the price these young lives are already paying.