Depression runs in my family. Especially with the men, though I know it’s most common with women. My grandma gave us all prisms and told us to let our life be a prism, as I talked about in my first post, with the good creating even more beautiful things, and not letting the bad affect us.
But my brother had a hard time of it after college. He graduated with his Master’s in Business Administration, but he couldn’t find a job. Mind you, he went to Saint Louis University, which is a fantastic school, so it’s not like his degree was crap.
He went to interview after interview, but never got hired.
He was also having a tough time in his personal life because he couldn’t afford his apartment in the city, and my parents couldn’t help him with rent. His options were to move back in with them, or get a job. And he wasn’t having much luck with the latter.
I was still in college at the time, also SLU, and wanted to help my brother. This is how that conversation went, (roughly):
“I can’t get a job. No one calls me back after the first interview,” he told me.
“Why do you think that is? You’re qualified for the positions, right?”
“Yes. I mean…I think so. I don’t know if they should hire me. I’m not the best guy for the job, probably.”
“David! You have your Master’s, you’re intelligent and a hard worker. I don’t know what more they could want!”
He began to deny it, to shake his head and act like he was nothing. But no one is nothing.
“It’s easy for you, Justine. You’re so upbeat and happy and everyone loves you. It’s like life gives you everything you ask for.”
“Do you remember what grandma always told us?” I asked him.
“About the prisms. Yeah.”
“David, you’re letting in the dark. It’s not supposed to be able to change us, but YOU ARE LETTING IT. You have a great degree. A great family who loves you. You are worthy. Maybe you should keep that in mind for your next interview. A positive attitude goes a long way. You think people like me just because? My life is what I make of it. Grandma taught us that. You need to start living it.”
He called me after his next interview, ecstatic.
“I did it, Justine! I was positive and smiled a lot, like you do, and I did my best to be confident, and I got the job!”
25 years later, he runs that company now. Almost. He’s VP, but he’s earned it. He’s happily married, with beautiful kids, now nearly grown. Maybe I’m not being modest, but I KNOW it was that conversation with me that helped him change his life. He needed to understand that value of his own self-worth, which, before grandma’s philosophy, he was ignoring.
Until next time,