Okay, we all know there is a huge unemployment problem in the U.S., and those of you who are still working are paying for those of us who are not, ( thanks, BTW...). But, has anybody really attempted to talk to those of us who have been unemployed for quite some time? Notice any significant changes in his or her demeanor? I would imagine the answer is probably yes, and that's probably due to the American self image gained through success in business. We see the signs everyday, your neighbor leaving for work in the morning in his BMW Z6, the meticulously manicured lawn of the house two streets over, or the Barbie and Ken couple down the street still able to make their church fund drive to gain a sense of 'giving back'. Try two weeks of daytime TV and all of a sudden you're recognizing your true contribution to the world. Which is obviously very little.
Self esteem is slowly gained as we successfully interact with our coworkers. Ego results from the successful interaction with coworkers for many years, and recognition of ego pushes us farther up the business ladder. Finally, we build such an over-inflated image of ourselves in the business world that we can't remember what life was like before our good fortune brought us to this level.
If anything, unemployment puts it all back into perspective. You can again rethink your value system, you're immediately able to identify your excesses in lifestyle, and you're forced to focus on what's truly important. Speaking from experience, it is a somewhat humbling, and times aggravating experience, but one I won't forget for a very long time. If anything, it makes great stories to tell the Grand Kids about the Bad 'Ol Days.
I personally have rethought my future, and am pursuing a home manufacturing business. It's something I've always wanted to do, but never found the incentive while I was working in the high-tech industry to launch. Again, time on my hands and perspectives. Wish me luck...