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Considerations of the less fortunate

Updated on January 17, 2012
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Dr. Lee Outlaw is currently Editor in Chief and contributing writer for The Outlaw Observer and Opinion.

Love is the answer

A great concern

As one who favors capitalism and the entrepreneurial spirit, this article might seem somewhat strange to those who read my writings on my other Hubs and blog sites.

The truth is, the matter of the less fortunate of our society and the world in which we live has been a great concern of mine since entering the ministry thirty four years ago.

I have always been involved in one way or another trying to help either those of the community I was living and ministering in or assisting in world missions on the grander scale of things within the denomination I was part of.

I was so much involved and so concerned that I nearly lost my family and accused by family members of abandoning my allegiance to them; nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, it was because of my family and God always providing for us that I felt the need to always “consider the less fortunate”.

This is not an attempt to seek accolades for what I enjoy very much doing but rather an attempt to point out what I have experienced personally as abuses to the less fortunate.

In the past few years, I have experienced in my own life a downward trend financially, job security and even my living conditions. It has been a situation which frankly I never thought with my education, credentials and job performance I would ever experience but life happens and as a result I have.

Again, I am not whining, looking for sympathy or a hand out. I have been and continue to be blessed. This is part of the reason I am writing this article. Due to the “consideration of others for my less fortunate situation”, I am good and going to get better. I am also blessed with having gained remarkable insight God has allowed me via my background as a pastor, psychologist and business man.

There are things I have discovered the past several years as being included as one of those “less fortunate” which I want to share in an attempt to bring to light and hopefully change and help those less than fortunate.

First is the matter of health. I have made it no secret that I am a Grand General Epileptic (the old “Grand Mau” designation) which means I can have a seizure at any time. It’s genetic and I was born with it but like any illness, the older you get the complications can become greater. I have a great neurologist, take medication and it is controlled just like diabetes or blood pressure.

The problem is, once the word gets out that you are technically “disabled” obtaining employment even with a PhD (which I have) is difficult. An employer cannot deny a job solely on the health issue because of the “Americans with disabilities act” but due to extensive background checks, an applicant MUST disclose everything including health. As such, the employer, seeing “dollar signs” on increased health cost can find a totally different reason not to hire a disabled person no matter how small the disability might be.

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Many abuses

The health issue of employers not hiring is not limited to older adults over fifty such as me but anyone. I have spoken with many who want to work but because of diabetes, epilepsy, limps, limb limitation, lower IQs, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and much more, employers just pass the applicant (although possibly well qualified) on by. This is very sad.

The second is directly related to the first and that is “Credit worthiness”. Ninety five percent of employers (regardless of size) want not only a back ground check but also a credit check. The irony to this is that the very reason someone is trying to get work is to protect their credit but if they have been out of work as little as ten days most credit agencies become aware and an applicant will not have a credit score high enough to qualify for a job. This is totally unacceptable except in the case of one working with finances.

Another problem is the “over qualification” factor. I have been so desperate for work and finances at times I have applied for every job imaginable including McDonald's, Burger King, and Wall-Mart. I flipped burgers while in college and grad school so I thought, no “biggy” until a local McDonald’s owner told me he wanted to hire me but he could lose his franchise for hiring someone “over qualified” so he just couldn’t. I’ve talked to other young college grads that can’t get work for the same reason. Others can’t get work because they have been out of work “too long”; what is that about? Fortunately congress just passed a bill that prohibits an employer from including “delay of re-hire” as a consideration for employment.

Although there are many, many more considerations I have experienced, the final consideration of the less fortunate I want to bring to everyone’s attention is the “abuse and defrauding of the jobless and less fortunate” with scams and schemes to take the last of their finances, savings and final dreams.

I could not believe the extreme amount of offers for employment I received at first only to find out that many were simple attempts for me to purchase something.

Several so called placement services actually get local unemployment list, send out email promises of hundreds of jobs in the jobless person’s area only to be required to purchase several items to obtain the list. Fortunately for me, God has given me the background and ability to see clearly through this but not everyone is able.

I know one lady of similar age really struggling who had three separate loan companies offer her grants that turned out actually to be loans which she will not be able to pay back with her social security in her lifetime. One company cleaned her bank account out leaving her without even the ability to have a checking account any longer.

The very reason Jesus in the New Testament cleaned the temple of the “money changers” was because of their abuse of and taking advantage of the “faithful and less fortunate”.

Those of us who are blessed and who are fortunate must both pray and be on guard for those who would abuse those trying to survive.

We need to consider the words of Jesus on His famous Sermon on the Mount where He said, “Blessed are the POOR in spirit for such is the Kingdom of God” Matthew 5:3.

I want to thank all of those reading this that have encouraged and considered me in my time less than fortunate. It has been my good fortune to know you and call you friends. Thank you for blessing me and pray that I can continue this blessing to others less fortunate as well.

©Copyright 2012 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III

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    • Drtruthman profile image

      Drtruthman 6 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thank you Susan for this testimony of personal experience.

      It is sad that with all of the laws passed and how far Civil rights seems to have advanced, that there is still prejudice seldom spoken of such as that mentioned by you, Michelle and myself. I pray that each of us will be encouraged by knowing that we are not alone in this struggle with health, jobs and finance. You are in my prayers.

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      Susan Joyner-Stumpf 6 years ago

      Dr Lee, thank you for your Article. I am one of those "less fortunate." And becoming disabled six years ago with Spinal Stenosis (Advanced Degenerative Disc Disease ((very painful and debilitating))), unable to work, and my Howard and I having a two=family income, has drastically affected our finances. In the past ten years, we've declared Bankruptcy. I'm still waiting to collect Disability, even though I have Doctors Letters and Psychiatrists (for I've also been diagnosed Bipolar II) and I've been a Manic Depressive with Severe PTSD with Anxiety Disorder ever since childhood) stating that I will never work again. The system isn't fair, and Age and Disability Discrimination for Jobs is Alive and Well, believe me.

    • Drtruthman profile image

      Drtruthman 6 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thank you so much Michele. I have a future daughter in law with that name. Love it. So glad you commented. Yes I am one of the the fortunate ones they tell me with mine being genetic but oh, how I hate those dreaded auras, always fearing the big one might be coming and don;t mind the "yacking" as we are all too aware, those of us as epileptics are known for it..LOL Glad you like the Hub. I will keep you in my prayers. I take 1200 mgms. of Depakote per day. Please feel free to "yack" at me any time. It is always nice to have support from other epileptics. Hang in there, God will get you through.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for this hub. I also have epilepsy, and was " let go" of my nursing career and put on disablity. The epilepsy did get very bad, and I have had surgery twice, but still take a lot of medicine. There are lesions all over the left part of my brain and still spreading. I don't know why. The doctor's at the Cleveland Clinic told me they will probably keep growing, so they don't know how long the medicine wil keep me seizure free. Please forgive me for yacking so much. This hub just made me think. Great hub. Thank you.

    • Drtruthman profile image

      Drtruthman 6 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Thank you Debbie, I always appreciate your read and comment.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Awesome dr. Truthman