Youth unemployment and what we can do
A Christian Science perspective: Unemployment issues that concern anyone in the job market are not out of the range of God’s infinite capacity and power to bring solutions.
“From Cairo to London to Brooklyn, too many young people are jobless and disaffected,” reads the subhead of the “The Youth Unemployment Bomb” (Bloomsberg Businessweek, Feb. 2). And the malaise is rising in Africa, China, and Japan. Living part of the year in Spain, I’ve felt this issue right at my front door, with 40 percent of Spain’s youth out of work.
Southern Europe is being hit particularly hard. Young people are increasingly offered unpaid or low-paying internships, traineeships, or temporary contracts that don’t offer benefits or protection. Some are migrating to Northern Europe, while others are returning to their childhood bedrooms, wondering whether they will ever be able to afford to move out. Many are abandoning the job market altogether, believing there are no more opportunities and no place for them in society.
It really hit home when a young Spanish friend of ours told me of her discouragement after being laid off six months ago and unable to find work anywhere. My young friend’s situation alerted me to pray to feel more firmly and consistently that God is always providing for the needs of everyone.
Prayer helps us look through a better lens than those of statistics, economic fluctuations, or political roadblocks. A spiritual perspective reveals God as our Father-Mother, Love – the only Creator. Looking through this lens shows that because God creates only good, opportunity for good is the constant condition of His creation, for each of us, regardless of age. No door to a permanent sense of our worth, which includes satisfying and contributing work, can be closed. This fact can become clearer through a deeper understanding of God as the only and ever-available source of whatever good comes to our lives.
According to Christian Science, Jesus understood his indestructible oneness with God with such absolute conviction that he personified perfectly the Christ, his divine nature in the image and likeness of God. Through healing of every imaginable human problem, he taught then – and his example continues to teach today – that the Christ is the only real nature of each one of us. Christian Science shows that the living Christ, the healing and saving power of God, is ever present throughout all ages to destroy all limitation and to reveal God’s constant care for every man and woman.
God’s care is tenderly and relevantly portrayed in the book of Isaiah, where it is written, “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (40:11). How natural it is for all of God’s beloved children to feel the continual progress of good and abundance. Praying from this basis, we can help break the pattern of despondency about unemployment plaguing our youth. It enables the Christ to act as an irresistible light that outshines despair and hopelessness with newness and vigor.
Brighter perspectives through prayer can result in guiding one to a newly formed position, or in an extension of a temporary contract because of an unexpected need. Deep prayerful listening and a humble desire to help the world might lead to starting a business that provides new productive services. Innate goodness and bountifulness are the divine right of everyone, regardless of age.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and founded the Monitor, dedicated her life to helping others see that infinite, divine Love, God, is always supplying comfort and guidance, no matter what difficulty we might be facing. In her major work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote, “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way” (p. 454).
Because God is Mind, God is always informing us of our inseparable relationship with Him and of the permanence of our God-given purpose. Unemployment issues that concern today’s youth or anyone in the job market are not out of the range of God’s infinite capacity and power to bring solutions for this essential human need.