Sunday, January 16, 2011
Last Tuesday a Woodward, Oklahoma boy takes the Christmas Story challenge. The eight year old stuck his tongue on a stop sign pole across from Woodward Middle School. His brother dared him to stick his tongue on the stop sign pole and he did it. When paramedics arrived they found the boy standing on his toes and he was trying to wiggle his frozen tongue from the pole. Paramedics poured water over his tongue to free his tongue from the pole. Paramedics said, it looked like the scene straight out of the 1983 movie, the Christmas Story. The 8 year old boy was taken to the hospital for treatment. I guess, he has never watched the movie. Poor boy, he will probably never live this one down.
I have had a few responses in response to my blog posting “A Second Chance for Convicted Felons. I don’t want anyone to think I don’t feel they don’t deserve a second chance. I feel they should have to work for it and go through the hiring process like everyone else. Below is the response of few of my readers. I thought it would be fair to post both sides of the fence on this topic. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just wanted to say, I do enjoy the comments and I am open to hearing the opinions others may have on a topic.
You are wrong. Everyone deserves a second chance at life. We can't give up on people who have made mistakes. Remember when we close the door on convicted felons,we only hurt ourselves. What you put out comes back. Let me explain further, when you close the door on convicted felons,and you will not hire them, you leave them with only one choice, and that is back to a life of crime. The crime they commit could actually come back to you or your family. On the reverse side, if you hire them, they can provide for their families, raise their children and teach them that crime is bad and maybe that same person can reach out to another convicted felon and guide them. These are the effects when help our brothers and sisters. Sincerely, Convicted Felon
By Anonymous on Second Chance For Convicted Felons? on 1/14/11
I am not saying they don't deserve a second chance. Just they should have to earn it like everyone else. It angers me when there is thousands of unemployed in Michigan alone and they hand a convicted felon a job just because he goes on the news and asks for a second chance. The job should have been posted for anyone who is interested in the position to apply. If he is serious about getting a second chance he wouldn't be sitting on the news whining about getting a second chance. He would be out there actively trying to find a job. The man in Michigan was only unemployed for a year. There are people out there unemployed longer than that looking for jobs. I have been unemployed for two years & I have multiple college degrees and I am having trouble finding employment. Believe me I am not being picky about what jobs I apply for. There are thousands of people in Michigan alone who are unemployed. Nobody is handing them jobs. If he is serious about his life back on track he will work on it. One thing I always teach my children is nothing will be handed to you on a silver platter, you have to go out and work for it. So, he needs to do the same as me and the rest of the unemployed, work for it. I'm sorry if your feel offended by the post. But, I think everyone should have to work for what they get.
By Mrs. E on Second Chance For Convicted Felons? on 1/14/11
I think your thinking is in the wrong place. I respect your thinking, but lets look at it another way. Your life and unemployment situation is nothing more than the reflection of your thinking. Don't look at the outer circumstances for rational of what's happening in your life. Look within. Your life is nothing but a product of your thinking. Why do you think Ted and Marlon were able to find employment. It's because when you change within or shift your consciousness, the laws of life move in to place to accommodate that level of consciousness. Change your thinking, change your life and situation. This is how life works. Its nothing against you. There is nothing unfair about life. We may sometimes perceive it that way. When we truly look at life from a different perspective, and realize that we are the cause of our circumstances and situations, then and only then can we change it. Be happy for those two that found employment. This will cause a shift in your thinking and open the flow and abundance of life to you and you will find employment. Do things in the same way, you get the same results. Change it, and you change your life. I believe in you and know that you can be happy for those two that found employment. Change your thinking, change your life.
By Anonymous on Second Chance For Convicted Felons? at 9:04 AM
Mrs E, I just read your profile and you have an interest to understand human behavior. I would really like to share some books with you if your open. I believe that I truly understand how life works. I use to think just like you and now things are working perfectly for me. I would like to share with you some of the things i learned and hopefully it can help you expand your thinking and open up the flow of abundance. Sincerely, David
By Anonymous on Second Chance For Convicted Felons? at 9:16 AM
Mrs. E's Response 01/16/2011:
My situation has nothing to do with my thinking. Looking for a job is a full time job. I spend hours a day looking for a job, sending out as many as twenty or more resumes a week. I don't sit around waiting for someone to hand me a job. As far as Michigan goes, there are employment programs they can sign up for once they get out of jail if they are serious about getting a job. Another 4,000 people were laid off in Michigan just between October and December. There are people who used to have good jobs, which are now living in tent cities or in their car because they were laid off and lost their jobs and are having difficulty finding work. The educated, seem to be the group of individuals who are having the hardest time finding a job. There is nothing wrong with the way I think. There is nothing wrong with thinking people should work for what they want. I don't feel that it is our responsibility to make sure convicted felons have jobs so they don't rob us or kill us. I never said they shouldn't be hired. But, they do need to learn to accept responsibility for their own behavior and actions. They need to learn to be a responsible person and stop using crime or their past as an excuse for their bad choices. Thank you for offering a list of books for me to read. But, I am educated. I have an Associate’s Degree in Human Services, a Bachelors Degree in Psychology & Family Life Education.
I believe a person should accept responsibility for their own actions and their own fate. Ted Williams had every opportunity to have a good life. He walked away from 9 children and a good job for drugs and alcohol. He had family who tried to help him every time he said he was going to stop taking drugs. He consistently let them down and chose a life on the street, taking drugs over his own children. If the man in Michigan was serious about looking for employment instead of handouts he would have signed up for the back to work program. Many felons in Michigan are back to work within 6 months when they sign up for the program. But, then again that was something he chose not to do. He heard about the Ted Williams story and then proceeded to call the news stations looking for someone to put him on the news. I have no sympathy for anyone who chooses not to actively try to change their own life. Not when there are thousands of Michigan families who have lost their homes and almost everything they own because of a lack of jobs in Michigan. I have sympathy for those who have worked all their life to achieve the American Dream and lost it, because of the economy. The economy in North Carolina is better than here in Michigan. Unless you are on top of the current economic situation in Michigan, that doesn't make you the right person to place judgment on Michigan’s unemployed or myself. By saying we are in control of the situation when we are not. I cannot make people hire me. I apply for a lot of different jobs, they tell me I am over qualified for the position. One thing I do not expect are handouts. I just feel everyone should have a fair chance at the job. If the news wants to cover human interest stories, do it on people who are more deserving. I have watched families in my neighborhood lose their homes because of a lack of employment. I have seen my children’s friends families sit in the dark and cold in the winter because of a lack of employment and money to pay their utility bill. One of my daughter’s friends stayed with us for almost two weeks because they had no heat or electricity in their home, just a month ago. There is a group of individuals who supposedly make too much money for help who are struggling. I was a single mother when I first started college. I worked and raised my daughter while going to school full time and pulled off honor roll. I am thousands of dollars in debt for my student loans that I am still paying for. Nobody has ever handed me anything. I have been divorced and a single mother of three children in the past and I made the right choices for myself and my family. I worked and supported my family. I didn't go out and rob a bank to get money or stole from others to get what we needed. The only way someone who has chose that lifestyle will change their life is to want to change and to actually do something about it. If you hand them the tools they need to change their life, it doesn't mean they will change it. They will appreciate it more if they have to work for it. Then and only then will they have something to be proud of. Yes, I came from a middle class family. But, I was taught when I was young; I have to work for what I want. I went to work when I was 15 to work for the extra things I wanted when I was growing up. When I decided to return to college, I worked 45 hours a week and raised three children while attending college and this last time I went to college, I went to two colleges to attain my degree faster to return to work. I have worked hard my entire life to get what I want. You don’t have to get a degree to make something of yourself. All you have to do is have some ambition and be willing to work hard for what you want. Further more, I feel for the family members of the person he killed sitting there watching the person who committed the murder get sympathy for being out of work and get handed a job. They are probably reliving their loss of their loved one.
Please leave comments, this is a very interesting topic.
Response to Anonymous Comment Below. (Sorry, my response wouldn't fit in the comment section).
I didn't say there were 0 jobs. The fact I am having trouble finding a job is not a figment of my imagination.The answer to your big question is my field is practically dead right now at least here in MI with very few openings. Nonprofit organizations are losing their funding left and right and being forced to run on fewer staff.The office jobs which I do have exp. in don’t want to hire me, because my education is in psychology. I used to make 50,000 a yr. & they feel I would'nt be happy & will leave when another opportunity comes up, regardless of what I tell them.I've been to interviews where 200 or more people were applying for the same job. Tell America’s unemployed it’s their fault they are unemployed and are having trouble finding jobs. I think even Obama would disagree with you on that one.
You're stuck on the fact you're a convicted felon and you don’t like it when someone says they should have to work for what they want, the same as everyone else. You are missing the point even though you claim you are thinking on a higher level. Try reading it again & ingesting what I said. I never said they don’t deserve a second chance. I said they should have to work for it like everyone else. I don’t call it creativity the way they found jobs.I call it laziness. They went on television looking for handouts. As far as the man in MI, he's just trying to jump on the Ted Williams band wagon & take advantage of anyone who is willing to hand him a little sympathy. I sympathize with the victims, because I have worked with the victims as an advocate. I have seen firsthand the destruction crime can have on the victim’s life. It stays with them the rest of their life. I have seen a 4 year old boy who has had his life destroyed by an adult. Now, he is a little boy who tries to kill other people, because his pain is unbearable in his head and he had to be removed from his home and put in a mental facility for children. The mother had to decide to get him help or risk losing both of her children. Before a man decided to walk into his life and destroy it, he was a normal little boy. I have heard the victims’ stories and I had to do everything possible not to burst into tears and had to take bathroom breaks just to compose myself before returning to the room. I used to sit there biting the inside of my mouth & focus on the pain to keep myself from crying in front of them. Until you have seen the pain on a victim's face and heard their stories, you have no right to down play what crime does to the people they hurt. NOBODY has the right to destroy another person’s life and then act like it is nothing and act like they should be forgiven just because a criminal says; he did his time and claims he is reformed. The criminal gets to walk away from the crime. The victim lives with it forever and so does their family. I feel bad for the family of the person he killed. I can imagine the pain they were feeling when they watched their family member'smurderer on television asking for a second chance. He didn’t give the person he killed a second chance. What makes him feel like he has the right to ask someone to give him a second chance and to help him? He's thinking of himself as a victim, because he says, it's my cross to bear. That doesn't sound reformed to me. It is also the family of the victim who also has to bear the cross of what he did. He has to earn his second chance. He has to prove to society he is no longer capable of murder.
There is not just one side of this coin, there are two sides. The victim and the person who committed the crime against the victim, I choose the side of the victim. You're keeping yourself from looking at the big picture. That is one of the problems with criminals, they only see their side. They don’t see the affects their crime has on the victim. You claim you are thinking on a higher level when your only thinking on one level, the level of a convicted felon. You are sympathizing with them, because you were one. However, you are totally ignoring the victim. I heard their stories and watched them cry. I can’t forget the victim. Their stories and faces will live with me the rest of my life. If you're trying to get me to have sympathy for a convicted felon, it will NEVER happen.
I know I will find a job eventually; it is just a matter of time. I know the economy is better in NC than it is in MI. I was considering moving to North Carolina. I looked into the unemployment rate and compared the two states. I have family there and my sister is a police officer there and said there are jobs there.
I am done discussing this topic with you; it is like beating a dead horse. I am not trying to change anyone else’s opinion I am only trying to express my opinion. I have allowed you to express your opinion and took that into consideration. But,considering my history of working with the victims of crime, my opinion cannot be changed. I was a child and family advocate in the past and I always will be a child and family advocate in my heart. Working with victims of crime is my passion. You cannot advocate for a victim and have sympathy for the criminal. It simply doesn’t work.
I'm missing my Grandmother this morning. Whenever I think about her or miss her. I make some of her favorite meals, fried chicken, greens and cornbread with mash potatoes and gravy for dinner or biscuits and gravy for breakfast. This morning it's biscuits and gravy, a family favorite. It is one of the few breakfast foods that everyone will eat. I remember when I moved back to Pennsylvania for a brief while, she used to call me and tell me "Terry, I'm making biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Why don't you and the kids come over for some breakfast?" It's kind of a tradition. My Granny made biscuits and gravy, my grandmother made it, my mother made it, and now I make biscuits and gravy. Then when my children grow up, biscuits and gravy will remind them of home. I wonder which one of my children will learn how to make biscuits and gravy to carry on the tradition. I make the gravy the way my Grandmother did, from the bacon grease. It may be a heart attack on a plate, but it sure is good. It's funny how certain foods can remind you of your family. She must have been with me this morning because it turned out really good.