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The Secret of Life: The Second Secret

Updated on January 10, 2014

Explanation and Introduction

This is the second in my series about finding the Secret of Life. It is, in effect, a culmination of lessons learned that have provided insight for me, and hopefully you will find them valuable as well.

The secret of life! What I have tried to do is find the commonalities for all of us, those key factors that make life meaningful for each and every one of us. It has always been my belief that we all have so many more commonalities than we do differences. Perhaps if we study in a bit more depth those common factors that we all share, we will somehow move closer to each other, and if that happens, then the sky is the limit.

The first of this series discussed love and its importance for the human species. Today we will take a look at the topic of productivity.

A sight all-too often seen in America
A sight all-too often seen in America | Source

A Glance Around Society

I think perhaps the most insidious result of homelessness and unemployment is the loss of self-worth that is associated with those two social factors. Take away a person’s job and/or home and you have taken away a part of who he/she is; of the two, I believe the lack of a job, or the lack of a productive undertaking, is the worst.

Let’s think about this for a moment. Since the beginning of time, man has been a hunter, a gatherer, a farmer and a producer. It is what we do! We rise in the morning and then we tackle tasks. In those tasks we find a certain degree of satisfaction. We clean the garage and we feel good about it. We meet our goals at work and we feel good about it. We raise good children and we feel good about it.

We are doers! We need a purpose! Some may not like their jobs but they at least have a feeling of accomplishment in doing those jobs, and there is an unspoken sense of pride in being productive.

Take that away and what do you have?

Look on the streets of any major city in this country and you will see what the result is of lost productivity. Look in homes and you will see the moroseness, the depression, the drug and alcohol abuse, the verbal and physical abuse and yes, the suicide and homicide.

Do you believe that people need to feel productive?

See results

A Glance Back in Time

I remember my first job. I was fifteen years old and I was hired part-time to work in our neighborhood bowling alley. I have no idea what the pay was; I know I did get free bowling in addition to the pay and I thought that was a great bonus.

I clearly remember coming home from work that first week and feeling fantastic. It wasn’t because of the money for the job really did not pay much; it was the feeling that I was accomplishing something, that I was a functioning member of society, and that I was being productive.

Flash forward a few decades. Since that first job at the age of fifteen, to today, nearly fifty years later, I have only been out of work three times for a total of six months. The first time was my choice because I wanted to return to college to get my teaching degree. The last two were not my choice, and I can tell you with all certainty that I hated it. I was instantly depressed being out of work. It was as though a part of my identity had been stolen. I moped around the house; I dragged my feet doing chores; I slowly fell into a feeling of worthlessness, and it was horrible.

I knew I was not being productive. I knew I was not fulfilling a purpose. I knew a part of me was missing.

A Look at Today

Politicians shake their heads and debate how to tackle the economic problems, when really there is no mystery to it at all. Put people back to work! Allow them to stay productive and regain a feeling of self-worth.

I do not believe that most people want a handout. Of course there is a fringe group that plays the system for benefits so that they will not have to work, but I believe the majority of citizens would be much happier working and making it on their own rather than taking benefits from the government.

I have known poor people. Hell, I have lived among them. Most of them were embarrassed having to ask for food or shelter. They did not need pity; they needed a job so that they could have some self-respect.

What is that old saying about giving a man a fish and he has a meal for one day, but teach him how to fish and he will be set for life? How true those words are!

It Comes from Within

The impetus for productivity must come from within each of us. There will be times when there are no external stimuli. Jobs may not be available; what does one do then? Perhaps physical handicaps make it nearly impossible to interact in society. How does one then find productivity in life?

There are no easy answers to those questions, but an answer must be found, for to accomplish nothing is to chip away at our heart and soul. Man must have a purpose; man must have a goal.

I have a former student who has been wheel-chair bound her entire life. Oh how easy it would have been for her to accept her fate and live out her life being waited on and provided for. However, the need to be a productive member of society was too strong in this marvelous human being. She went to high school, and then college, and became a counselor at a local high school. She loves her life because she is doing service for others and she is a productive.

I wonder how she would have turned out if she had chosen to be an invalid with no purpose in her life?

Sit with me awhile and let's chat

Go out and See for Yourself

Do a test on your own! Look in the mirror and ask yourselves if you feel productive? Are you fulfilling a purpose here on Earth, or are you just going through the motions and wasting valuable time?

This, then, is the second secret of life: Be productive! Find a purpose! Establish goals and move towards their completion!

Do not waste another moment wallowing in self-doubt or feelings of inferiority. Each one of you is an integral part of this thing called Life, but it is up to you to demonstrate your importance through your actions. Nobody else can do that for you.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I agree with all you said..and realize how the government is concerned with global warming, immigration, infra structure repairs, gun control..however I have failed to hear anyways to cut spending and get people back to work. There is no unity and so many of the current ills can be handled statewide. Texas actually has surplus in the bank account. People need to work for self worth and paying the bills. People are down and out and don't have the mental energy to try to solve their problems. Just my rant for the day. Well written as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, you are fast this morning! Obviously what you say is true, because we are seeing the opposite of it and it is a mess out there. I now understand the horror of the Great Depression and what my parents went through.

      You can rant here any old time you want. In fact, on Thursday I'm going on a major rant. :)

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      You're right, it is time we take responsibility for our own lives and the world around us. Like you said, we can cop out, or we can influence others. If each of us could make the most of today, we would see a much different, better world.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I really like this series, Bill. It speaks to everyone. What great insight snd ideas! No matter what you do or how you do it, productivity=contentment

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      "... I believe the majority of citizens would be much happier working and making it on their own rather than taking benefits from the government."

      Amen to that, brother. These days, hard work does not mean you will be paid a living wage. It's a sad situation.

    • onegreenparachute profile image

      Carol 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      Sheesh. Now I'm going to have to DO something. Good words Bill - as usual. Looking forward to The Rant!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful Bill and truly do agree with you on this. When I lost my teaching job I was about 5 months pregnant with Lily and ended up on bed rest shortly thereafter, so I may have been a blessing in disguise at that point. But after I had her and then the dust settled it was kind of a culture shock to me, because I had been working so long and never was really home not working. When I discovered I could write from home and still be productive, it truly made me feel great and like I was on the top of the world. So, I know what you mean here. Thank you for sharing and this series really is awesome. Voted way up, shared and tweeted as always!!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Great Hub Bill! Having been unemployed/retired (depending on who I am speaking with, I guess) for a year now, I can relate to your subject. I keep very active, do the job search thing, do housework and share more of the cooking, take a yoga class, and write here and in my poetry group. Yet, that part of me that has worked since I was 14, with only a few months off during a previous recession, goads me to do something. With two somewhat possible jobs applied for currently, I may be employed again full time or part time, soon, and will have that productive feeling you write eloquently about again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cygnetbrown, there is an infinite number of reasons for being down and losing hope, but in the end it is our responsibility to start again. Yes, it is hard, but oh well! :) Thank yo!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, thank you! Just some random thoughts as I walk through life. :) I always appreciate you, so thank you again.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, productivity and the lack thereof causes the problems of lack of self-worth, abuse and homelessness. That's why the word "do" becomes ever so important. Thanks for sharing!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, your point is well-taken; maybe hard work X 2 equals a living wage. :) It is a sad situation and I don't see it getting better.

      Thanks my Dunedin Dynamo!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      onegreenparachute.....I let go on a rant every few months. It releases all of my frustration at once. Stay tuned. :)

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I have very few memories of not being productive, but what I do remember about it is the feeling of a loss of self-worth. I can't imagine feeling that way for years.

      I'm glad you are writing; you are a huge part of this community, and I thank you for your loyalty.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      xstatic, very interesting comment. They say our generation may well be working into our seventies, and not necessarily because we need to financially. There seems to be a drive in us, or a need to work, or whatever, but the Baby Boomers are still going strong.

      Have a great day in Eugene!

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 4 years ago from Northern California

      I agree that we all benefit if we are working towards a goal to provide for ourselves, family and community. It is important for us to seek out volunteer work too. Having a place to call home, a place to enjoy your life, to read a good book in comfort is a real blessing.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      How true are these words, Bill! We must all have a sense of self-worth as one of the building blocks to feeling fullfilled. Productivity and having something to offer is a strong key to self-worth, pride and the will to move forward, onward and upwards towards meeting goals.

      Great series!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am unique and rare! I am worthy! I have value! That is a great way to start a day, thanks.

      After about a decade of paying attention, I now can sit down with a pen and paper, and make two columns. The first is about what I am accomplishing, the second is how I feel. I am always accomplishing, but sometimes I pull the inside job and feel as though I am not. Woe would be to me if I stopped accomplishing. Thanks for a great Chat.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Great stuff, Billy! In order to have a vested interest in this country and a sense of positive self worth, we need to bring jobs back to our USA. Too many professions have gone by the wayside in favor of building up foreign countries and interests. Mom and Pop businesses just cannot keep up with the huge tax burdens under which they now try to labor. This country was built by hard-working, industrious and clever people. We're still here, but the opportunities are slimmer than ever. End of Rant! Voted Way Up. Keep opening eyes, and making people think--you do it artfully, my friend!

      Pearl

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is so spot on. People need to feel productive, that they contribute something to the common good. Otherwise they tend to start doubting themselves and become more reluctant to participate in society. Then follows depression, substance abuse and all the other problems we see around us. I know there may be other contributing factors but being unproductive, feeling useless plays a big part.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Amen to this Bill. Much as we would like to embrace diversity, equality, immigration, gun control and other part of the world's problem and other issues in life/society, there are certainly other major issues that our government should tackle first and foremost---unemployment is one and how our economy could bounce back.

      Unemployment can be a shock to our whole system. When we lose our jobs, we don't only lose our source of income but also our personal work relationships, our daily structures and an important sense of self-purpose.

      I know some people who were let go of their jobs and their search for a decent paying job was in vain. Hence, they're compelled to take up anything just to survive--this is of course quite demeaning and they certainly felt the lost of self-esteem by the situation. I can just imagine their anxieties on how they're going to pay their bills or make a choice between putting food on the table or pay the utilities.

      Great hub, worth reading! Up and sharing the secret. Thanks.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      You know Bill, we all need that reason to leave get up in the morning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Michelle! It's always nice to see you visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Starstream, nicely stated. Thank you for adding that....comforts....goals...all important for sure. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sha! I know you understand about working and a feeling of self-worth. I can't imagine not having that feeling.....oh, wait, yes I can. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I like that...you are unique and you are rare! Yes you are my friend, as are we all. We just need to help others realize their uniqueness. :) Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Pearl! Rant all you want my friend. I have a special place in my heart for the American worker, or any worker anywhere who labors in relative obscurity but who keeps the industrial machine functioning. This country needs those people....and I shudder to think what will happen if we continue to lose those types of jobs overseas.

      Thanks my friend; you are appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, it truly does! Show a person he/she has worth and I'll show you a person who can stand on their own. The opposite is also true. I see a major breakdown in the belief system in society. People don't believe in themselves and they don't believe in the system. I'll tell you something else...it's going to get worse before it gets better.

      Thanks as always; I hope things are well in your little corner of the world.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, we truly do! Life is considerably harder when you have no reason to move forward.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cris, and it is always lovely to have you stop by. I'm telling you, this self-worth thing is a biggie, and not having a goal or direction is demeaning for sure....then not being able to provide or pay bills...asking for assistance....it all tears a person down and eventually they will give up.

      Thank you for a great comment!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      An excellent article Bill. I can attest to the feeling of worthlessness while being unemployed. I have dealt with that for most of the last six years. My first job was at 16 working on Jaguars, and I have mostly worked all my life. But you are right, when we are disabled, or otherwise unable to get a job it is easy to feel like there is no reason to go on.

      This is why I have such a powerful passion to do something about the homeless situation in this country.

      great message here, Mark

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Our purpose in life is to have a purpose in life! How right you are, as always, Billy. going to work, getting a paycheck and supporting our families...our need to provide and be of worth. Its fun to sit and relax but it wears thin quickly, it is just not our nature.

      Well done my friend. Voted up, useful, and as always, interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I knew you would understand this, Mark, better than most. I have a need to help too, but I'm not doing it at the level that I want. Frustrated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mary! I think a prolonged vacation would drive me nuts. LOL

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I agree. To do nothing is the most boring existence on earth. When i first retired from nursing, i returned twice. I was lost. When i finally quit for good, i started writing on HP which gave me a sense of productivity, but you need more than that to feel self-worth, giving and helping those in need gives me pleasure which is even more important than productivity. On a lighter note, it was swell receiving a paycheck. I do miss that..Cheers...

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Wow, another great one sir. I found myself thinking about domestic dogs. I know, I'm strange. But, most breeds of dogs were bred to perform a job and it has been proven that if those breeds do not get to perform those jobs, they develop behavior problems. Some herd, some hunt, some race, etc. but if not allowed to, they can become a real nuisance. Men are genetically geared to provide and protect, women - to be caretakers and nuturers. I believe that when denied the opportunity to do those things, we have the capacity to become restless or to act out. Or, worse. You have certainly inspired deeper thinking with this great write. Now, we just need to solve the problem of how to help people feel purposeful and productive. Loved this one.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby....LOL...the practical side of you is right below the surface. Yes my friend, it was swell receiving a paycheck. I can relate. However, I can also say that I am never bored, and I always feel like I have a purpose in my writing. Perhaps if I just wrote recipes or how to articles I would not feel that way, but as long as I can write about things that matter to me, I feel I'm doing something worthwhile. :)

      Thank you Ruby!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, that is a great analogy! I so wish I had thought of that dog angle. LOL Seriously, that really does say it all. Unemployment is devastating for those touched by it, and no amount of Social Services will bring back that feeling of self-worth that is missing. Yes, it will help with the bills and food, but there is still a hole in the gut of the unemployed that is difficult to fill.

      Thank you Kindred; have a great evening!

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Another excellent hub and very well expressed. A very valueable point and one I have observed often. There is also the lost of social contact or greatly reduced social contact. We may complain about all the collection for birthdays, babies, weddings and retirements but we miss them when they are no longer part of our lives.

      Watch retired people that retire without a plan, their deterioration is rapid and swift and there is very little in the way of services to stop it.

      I actually am afraid of retirment and when my body can no longer function but my mind is alert, this would be hell.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Well said Bill.

      I am glad I can contribute to the society in my own special small way. I hope that people draw inspiration from something I write and have a better day as anticipated :)

      You are a gifted man, Bill. Wishing you well.

      Your messages are always accepted loud and clear by me!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Highland, good example about retirement....I have seen it often.

      I, too, have thought about the body going and the mind still alert and I agree, that would be a hell I have no desire to visit.

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Ruchira! I just try to make sense of this world in a way others can understand. If I am successful in doing that then I am a very happy writer.

      You are a kind and compassionate lady, Ruchira, and I'm happy knowing you.

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      Jim Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      Okay, you made the three-point jumper, as usual, but I've come to expect no less from you. BTW, I tried that looking in the mirror thing. It broke. Landlord is gonna be pissed!

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 4 years ago from Italy

      Great hub. You have help many people. Being unemployed sometimes disorients a person.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Jim, you are a hoot! Thanks for the laugh; tell your landlord I said howdy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, it does indeed! There are a great many disoriented people right now my friend.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      I love these reflection-on-life-moment hubs Bill. Too many people don't stop to reflect and pass these others right by. And you're absolutely right about the fishing quote because I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, "one of the kindest things you can do for the homeless is to make them more uncomfortable." What's the context? Give them an opportunity with some hard work to do and they will not only have a home of their own, but self worth to go with it! Voting up!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I looked in the mirror and hated what I saws. But this is a great hub, thank you.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I totally agree with every point made here you have certainly said it all. Voted Up!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Bill. My little corner of the world is ankle-deep in snow at the moment. The other villagers aren't used to this but having lived through many a New York winter, this is child's play. Literally. My daughter and I have been building snowmen and having snowball fights. So fun.

      I have a pet project I'm working on. A lovely lady at work who seems to have self-esteem issues. I'm and currently trying to get her to just accept the compliment without saying 'Thank you but...' I'm sure you know the type. She's so upbeat and funny, I hate to see her do this.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Billy, This is so en pointe, but that is your usual excellence. Having a sense of purpose and a sense of self are so important to our mental health. Often our identities are tied to our jobs, especially if it's a career that we have carefully chosen. Still, we are who we are, regardless of the "trappings" we wear. It takes a lot of work and self exploration to get to that point. Some never get there, which is sad because there is worth in all of us. I'm certainly not saying I reached that point.

      As for the government being the answer or not the answer, I think the government plays a role in helping to people back to work. I actually think its in opposition to say put people back to work and then extoll "cut spending." It is a cycle that won't be complete without the other. After all, if you examine it closely, the government itself is one of the largest employers in the US. That includes the military personnel and throughout. Cut that and you're back to lack of jobs, homelessness, self worth issues...

      Anyway, tough questions, tough observations about self worth with very elusive answers. It can be like reaching that tiny pinprick of light down a long, long, dark corridor and the journey started in infancy.

      Always like your thought provoking observations and admonitions. Take care.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kas, great comment. I'm trying to imagine how many homeless there were when Franklin said those words.....if he could only see society now. :) Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Martin! You are always appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, thank you! I'll be by to see your latest shortly.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, yes, I know the type. I saw them for years when I was teaching.....and it is sad to see. Good for you for helping her with such an important issue.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Cyndi.....and I agree with your comments about the government. I just hate to see millions struggling and losing whatever self-esteem they still have. The country will only be strong when the weakest can stand on their own.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Your poll on feeling productive hit home with me. My parents moved into a retirement community a few years back and my mother definitely struggles with this. She quit her job and I can see that she needs something to make her feel productive. I just wish she would see it too. Nice hub.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      I agree Bill we just have to make our own way through life and do whatever it is that will make us feel worthy and just simply glad to be living and doing each day. I must say unfortunately on this side of the world the homeless bum population enjoy themselves too much to ever get productive. You see them dancing, singing, doing whatever it takes to get some cents and then it's drink and party time until the next day. Now of course they never get much but we got a real nasty system here where people sell cheap, homemade liquor sort of like moonshine I guess so it costs real little and keeps the bums fueled up. You know Bill I think they could use a guy like you to rev them up and get them productive. Anyway I make sure I do whatever I have to do each day to make myself feel good just to be living and doing. Hugs. Passing this on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, it is a real problem for those right after retirement. Many will eventually find something that gives them a purpose; others just wither on the vine. I hope your mother can find a new direction.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Gypsy! Interesting to hear about the homeless in your area. We have that here but certainly not a large percentage. Here it is homeless and unemployed because of an economy that is rigged against the average working person. Sad to see but that's the way it is. Thanks for the visit; if I can inspire just one person then my writing is worth it.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      Bill, you are so right. We were put on this earth for a purpose, and if we don’t get to fulfill that purpose, we do develop feelings of worthlessness. I’m glad you mentioned our parents going through the Great Depression. I come from a line of family members who worked well past their SS retirement age, and that may explain why. I’m not ready to retire yet, although I could. But I guess if I tucked my tail and went home to put my feet up, that would leave an opening for a younger person to enter the job market. Hmmm. Maybe it’s time for some of us oldsters to move over and do just that.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - Your intro for this hub is so important. I commend you for pointing out the fact that we share many commonalities. Too often we focus on our differences. The detrimental effects joblessness and homelessness has on an individual as well as their loved ones is truly staggering.

      I agree with this hub as our political agenda must focus on getting this country back on it's feet. When you have people who feel worthless, when you give them no avenue for productivity, people lose all hope - as we see all too often today. It is human nature to want to provide for yourself and your loved ones. There is no better way to build self confidence than an honest days work.

      I need to feel needed, to have a purpose - no matter how small.

      Sending my love to you and Bev.

      Beckie XO

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Everything that you say makes so much sense. I know when I have been unemployed, it has nearly killed me. Even a crappy job is better than nothing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I always love hearing from you. I thought it would bother me to leave teaching, but it was time and I found a substitute in writing to take care of my needs. It was time for a younger teacher to carry on for me, and I never looked back. I do think it is important to have something to fill that void, though, when we do retire. We ain't dead yet, MizB; there is still a lot of productivity left in us. :) Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, you said it so eloquently....I need to feel needed....to have a purpose...no matter how small. Without a doubt it is integral for us humans. Here's hoping the government clues in on this important fact.

      love,

      billy

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Deb, I have had some of those crappy jobs, as I'm sure you have as well, but it beat the heck out of having no job, and I was always able to find comfort in that fact.

      Thank you Deb!

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      YES!!....Linda's analogy is excellent. My Border Collie, a breed of the natural "herder," is a WORKING dog. If he is not provided, activity, space and freedom to work....he gets downright "Nutty," in weird behaviors.

      Gosh....your writing certainly brings out "awareness," in your readers!!...UP+++

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, if what you say is true, and I would never question you :) then I am one grateful writer. And yes, Linda's analogy was perfect.

      Thanks you my east coast Sister!

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      mandypoole 4 years ago from UK

      Great hub, and so true, working or even just studying can make you feel great about yourself as you know you are going somewhere in life, you are contributing to it and the satisfaction it gives you is amaing. Well done, I enjoyed reading this.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mandy! Good example about the studying. What might feel like a purpose to one may not to another, and it makes no difference. We just need some direction in our lives.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Productivity is a wonderful feeling and I believe most people want to live this belief. I remember my first job as a babysitter and how I was proud someone trusted me to watch their child. I wanted to excel. We need to instill this into our children to that they too can enjoy the pride that goes with hard work and a job well done. Great post, as always!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I agree completely! Our kids need to learn this; it can only help them in the future. Thank you as always; you are a gem!

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      i adore how you challenge...gently..

      purpose and productivity....not necessarily always connected...

      having the childhood i had - the never knowing...the leaving at 14..the competition - i always wanted my purpose to be to raise confident, loved kids...

      i've had my cards read twice Bill - both for fun but both in 'professional' settings...

      While they were several years apart they both told me the exact same thing: My 'purpose'? Is to 'teach'...

      Whatever the you-know-what that means..

      personally - i prefer to learn...

      it's easier...

      love your 'tude, Bro - keep the giving coming!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie....Sis! I was told fifteen years ago that I have an aura and that I'm a natural leader. I never wanted to be a leader; I'm quiet and shy and don't like the limelight. All I ever wanted to do was teach, and now write. Is that leading? I'll leave that question to people who are smarter than I am.

      Thank you Leslie; I personally think there is a great deal of leader and teacher in you. :)

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      There are those who have not found their reason for being. You related that you have a student who was in a wheelchair but it never became a stumbling block for her. She rose above that little bump in the road ...words I have heard from a family member who also has a handicap. All the more reason for those of us who are able-bodied to find a purpose and live. It is so easy to want to blame and point fingers and curse our bad fortune at being out of work or less fortunate than others.

      I can say that it is possible to rise above those road blocks that come our way---been there, done that. And it does come from within...the ability to do that comes from who we are deep inside as you say.

      So glad you shared this, Bill.

      Life is too short to miss because we choose not to grab hold of her and not left go.

      As always...sending you Angels my dear Friend.. :) ps

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      Elena 4 years ago from London, UK

      Very inspiring and makes one reflect in a positive way. Thanks

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lady E....I am always pleased when you drop by. I hope you are well my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I admit, I have little patience with people who will not try. It is much too easy to sit back and blame and do nothing. We have a nation filled with people who do that. I like to hang with those who give it their all; they may not succeed but it isn't because they didn't try.

      Thank you my dear; have a wonderful weekend. I'll take care of those angels for you.

      hugs and blessings coming your way

      bill

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      It seems the most self-actualized elders I know either have some kind of work or volunteer participation that keeps them connected and productive in society.

      I have always learned from my elders and I believe this speaks volumes.

      Beautiful, Bill...Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I agree completely. The wisest lessons I have learned have come from my elders. I hate to admit it, but I now fall in that category. LOL

      Thank you dear lady!

      love,

      bill

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      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Great read! The real estate market leaves me feeling unemployed many times, and the feeling is not good. Lately in the slow market, I have been working on other projects and volunteering. You have nice insights:)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, I didn't know you were in real estate. I hope the market improves soon for you. I like that you are tackling other projects to stay productive. Thank you!

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very wise words for sure, Bill. Come to think of it a jobless person feels worthless and lacking in all motivation. Give him work and his self worth sky rockets.

      Well said and awesome writing as ever. Voted up/useful and shared.

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      Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      Great work as usual billybuc! This is a very apt point. I currently work as an employment advisor for the long term unemployed - those brought low by society and circumstance. They don't want pity - they want purpose. Most of my job is comprised of trying to re-instill in them the confidence that they can go out and be a valued member of society that that very society has stripped away from them in the first place. In the uk now the public view the unemployed as scroungers because of the way the politicians and the media have painted them. This is not the truth. They are people. They want to work, and be productive... they have just got lost somewhere along the way.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! Oftentimes the toughest problems have the simplest solutions. Put people to work; some of society's ills will disappear overnight.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dan, bravo to you for the work you do. It appears that the UK and U.S. share common problems. People want self-worth, and they have one hell of a time finding it when they have no job and no future. I love the work you are doing; keep it up my friend and thank you.

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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Bill, Seriously! Do you have ESP or are you a psychic, LOL! Must be another God Deal. You talk about having a purpose here and working at a job and that is the one major thing that has been missing in my life. I miss working... I didn't realize how much better I felt as a person and a member of society until I lost my job. Without going into details, it's been kind of a downward spiral ever since and now I'm scared to death to even think about looking for another job. Like I said in my last comment, I don't really even leave the house much anymore though my son did just start pre-k and getting out and picking him up every day and it is helping for me to at least feel like I'm useful and somewhat part of the world again. HubPages is awesome... but it's an awesome place to hide too. I've been living here for 2 years now. It's pretty much my world. I know I don't have to tell you that fear will swallow you whole if you let it... that's what happened. Too much fear and not enough faith. Wonderful, wonderful hub, Bill and again completely true and I know applies to all of us. Thank you for sharing :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, the thing about hubs like this one...most of the time I'm talking to myself, and beating back my own demons on the process. I know what isolation does to me, and it is not pretty. I know what it's like to have fear dictate my life, and I refuse to go back to those days. So yes my dear friend, it applies to all of us.

      If you ever want to chat with a friend who understands, you know how to get hold of me. :) Thank you!

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      Wayne Barrett 4 years ago from Clearwater Florida

      I agree. People need to feel like they are of some use. It makes them part of the grand scheme of life around them.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Wayne! I know in my case I am a mess unless I am accomplishing something. On the other hand, I know people who seem to be quite content doing nothing....I wonder if they really are content?

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      Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      They may be content to begin with... or more likely relieved. Relieved to have been excused from the rat-race for a bit. Being without work and responsibilities is always a boon to start with. However... that doesn't last long. The self-esteem begins to slip, as does the motivation, the ambition, the lust for life. There doesn't seem to be enough time in the day because time-wasting has become a well-honed and all-encompassing thing. It is a slippery slope and easy to slide down on.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dan, it is indeed a slippery slope. A couple people I love are on that slope right now and they would be doing themselves a favor to get off of it as quickly as possible. That's no way to live.

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are well!

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