|courtesy of Haley Bell Photography|
Of course, that answer is no.
But please listen to the story of three personal friends who are finding out that second chances in society are not so easy to come by.
- Friend 1 actually is as good of a thinker as I know. He thinks brilliantly. Yet he has a non-violent felony on his record. Last week we talked after a job hired him and then immediately rescinded their offer as they processed his background check.
- Friend 2 is younger. We went on job searches on and off for months. He even came to my house and filled out applications online. I was a reference on all of his applications. No one would hire him. Two weeks ago, he called and told me had gotten in legal trouble making money by illegal means. His quote to me was, "C, you know I'd tried to get that money the legal way."
- Friend 3 has been taken every step he knows to rebound after a recent prison stint. He's just trying to take steps forward, but every step now requires an income. And an income requires a job. And so far, no one will hire him.
And it's a call for help.
How can you help?
Here are three ways.
1. If you know of an employer that believes in second chances, please help me get in contact with them.
2. Help fix a broken system. The saddest thing is that this problem is systemic. If we don't create a way to help people find tangible ways toward a preferrable future, I'll write this exact same blog a few years from now about some different friends or students.
3. We need career coaches. Maybe you are not in a position to hire. However, in every circumstance I mentioned, my friends could use a mentor in how to succeed in business from successful businessmen. We've all been taught how to work for money. No one ever teaches us how to make money work for us. It would be great to have a businessman meet with these guys and start a business leaders academy and be accountable for helping them be successful.
Redemption stories are my favorite. They remind me of the gospel, in that Jesus Christ came and lived and died in my place, so I could have a chance and entering into a personal relationship with God. The Bible is the world's greatest redemption story. If you are fan of redemption stories, please watch the 3-minute video of Michael Vick above, and then help me get involved in creating some new redemption stories.
I write these blogs as conversation starters. My hope is that you will contribute to the conversation with your thoughts on this topic.
Chris Lassiter is a Christ-follower, a husband to Emily (read her blog here), a father to five amazing kids, a journalist and a freelance writer. Moody Publishing recently released his first book, You're Grounded, which you can read about here.
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