Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life can still be meaningful despite layoff

A good fellow and journalist -- two terms that do not necessarily go together -- lamented in writing about how empty his life felt after being laid off yesterday at a Gannett newspaper.

The journalist wrote of how he would miss his colleagues and making a difference. I know exactly how he feels. I felt exactly the same when The Tennessean eliminated my job more than a year ago during my continuing fight with leukemia.

I wrote for Gannett as an editorial page editor and political columnist for 14 years. I kept writing from my hospital bed until Aetna said stop and I almost died during 12 days in Vanderbilt Medical Center.

But I got better enough to go back to my job. However, it was not to be.

Sure I was angry. And I cried. But my life really is better now.

First, God, saved my life. So my my life is dedicated to his will and the people around us in need. Yes, I write a blog that no one really reads. I am a nobody and technically a failure at 50 years of age. I can't help people like I could when I was a columnist in a newspaper that reached a lot of people.

But God still provides us opportunities. Yes, I'm still a failure. I make little money compared to what I did as a columnist with a long career. I feel shame and am glad my parents are not alive to see me this way. But I still believe God kept me alive for a reason.

And so for my colleague -- now in losing a job in the profession we love -- I'll keep him in my prayers and hope he finds a new way to make a difference and find new colleagues in the cause of making a better community and world.


Jim Voorhies said...

Going through a layoff can be a profoundly demoralizing experience (twice, for me). You question your own worth as a person and provider and you rack up bills you think you'll never be able to pay off. COBRA insurance, if you can afford it, is almost crippling by itself. Depression is a given.

Somehow, both times I made it and eventually found something.

You are not, however, unread.

Anonymous said...

Tim -- you rock. Gannett sucks. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

You are a giant of a man. We are not judged by how much money we make, but how we make a difference. You are a beacon for all of us.