Saturday, 12 January 2013

Woolworths, Comet, Jessops

Woolworths, Comet, Jessops

The closure of a company with immediate job losses and the so called adjustments leading to job losses are tragedies in more than one way but they are the natural conclusion of a process started by sheer greed leading to an even bigger gap between haves and have-nots.

From a medical point of view, job losses in times of recession increase already dangerous stress levels in society and this can lead to traumatic situations that will affect not only the individuals who have lost their jobs but also their immediate families and society as a whole.

Some are strong enough to get by and find other opportunities. Others become so disillusioned that they start thinking about extraordinary ways to make a living. The ‘disillusion syndrome’ affects youngsters in particular since they are the most vulnerable and the less experienced. Youngsters start talking about alternative ways and constantly complain about ‘how useless ordinary routines like going to school, studying and learning really are.’ ‘I could make a lot more money in one day by selling drugs without having to get up early in the morning and go to school’.

We constantly hear about indiscipline in the classroom and violence in schools. There is obviously a link between what happens in schools with students failing and what goes on in the rest of society because schools are very much part of society.

The X-Factor mentality and gambling attitudes are very much an expression of what goes on in society when more and more people feel frustrated and very much doubt that there is something worth working for.

The Encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII on Capital and Labour indicates that those who see employment merely from a pecuniary point of view are very much mistaken. Employment plays a fundamental social role that many in power completely underestimate.

We define ourselves according to what we do for a living. It is not mere coincidence that in the past many surnames indicated profession and occupation. We value ourselves and we are valued and recognized by others because of what we do for a living.

Our occupation is very much linked to our sense of identity and the struggle to have a job is very much a struggle for our own identity. So next time you watch the news and listen to reports about 1800 losing their jobs there and 1300 losing their over there you can look at it from a different perspective.  

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