The Homeless Man with the Golden Voice

What a fantastic story.

There was a viral video taken by a man who stopped to talk to a homeless man. The video showed the man holding a piece of cardboard which said he was an ex-radio announcer who had the gift of a good voice and was just down on his luck. The man filming him asked him to say something in his radio voice, he gave a really great quick audition from the street corner and then the cameraman put it up on youtube.

It had around 11 million hits and he ended up on a news show and now has several offers pouring in for work. His big catch was from Kraft Foods and he is now doing voice-overs for their ‘You know you love it’ campaign.

To say this is inspiring is an understatement. He has a criminal background and needed to be cleaned up. Yet, he landed himself some work by simply using what he had.

It’s very difficult to take simple inspiration from a story like this and turn it into something equally tangible in our own lives. We might think we have no gifts or talents. It becomes difficult to take an encouraging story and do anything with it past just feeling good about it at that moment.

It’s really up to each individual to grab a hold of the reins and steer it the way you want it to go but many people think this man is just an exception to the rule and therefore the odds are much like winning the lottery, so why bothering trying?

I grew up learning to not count on others. Any job I have had, I either hunted for or created it. I believe too many people are blaming higher powers for there being no jobs.

When I was a kid, I used to take my bike around to all the farms in the area and I would hop off and say hello. I would never say, “Hey are you hiring?” because they would always say no. Instead, I would strike up a conversation long enough to figure out if the farmer had an area where he sincerely needed help. If I spotted weeds in the garden, I would say, “Wow, you are such a hard worker! You must get so busy around here. Do you need some help cleaning up those weeds so the strawberries can get the sun?” They would laugh and say, “yeah those weeds are choking out the berries aren’t they? Sure I’d love the help.”

Instead of negotiating money with them, I would just set my bike against the barn and begin pulling. They would always give me some money for helping. I never had to ask.

This kind of mentality is missing from the job-hunting world. We go into work places and let them know what we will and won’t do before we are ever even hired and we want to talk about pay raise and benefits five minutes into it. It’s not to say those topics shouldn’t be discussed at some point, but they certainly aren’t good to start with.

I hate that people think the country owes them a job too. Nobody owes us anything. People are like farmers who just wake up in the morning and go about their business. If you don’t create a need in their business, they aren’t going to hire you. Why would they? Somewhere along the way, everyone became very entitled and has been buying into the idea that jobs should be supplied for us. If you don’t have a job, you don’t have a job…this means it’s not yours to get possessive about. It’s not the farmer’s job to make sure you are hired, it’s your job to convince him that he needs you.

I have also been in management where I have had to hire and fire people, so I know what happens on that side of the line too. I can generally smell someone’s sense of entitlement a million miles away and there’s a good chance I won’t hire them if they think they are owed the job.

Waiting for an economy to correct itself isn’t going to be the answer to finding work. In fact, I walk by places who are hiring all the time.

I do believe it’s more difficult for people like this homeless man who has a criminal record to find work, but it was his own mentality of being an overcomer against his odds which landed him the Kraft deal. Some people will say he dug his own whole with his drug and theft charges while others will say the system isn’t set up to give second chances. The bottom line is he could not afford to wait for external remedies. We could argue all day long about who is at fault, but all faults aside; his or the system’s, time is ticking on our lives and we simply cannot count on anyone else nor can we afford the time to blame anyone else. We might be absolutely right about where the fault lies, but well-placed blame isn’t enough to put food on the table. Not only that, it absorbs very precious time in our days and moments! We should be extraordinarily possessive about how our time is spent and guard ourselves against the things which can steal our time.

We are equipped…we can overcome…peacefully!
Karen :)

Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” ~A.A. Milne

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