Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who Needs A Mirror?


Can you feel the pain of a previous generation? Do your ancestors speak to you? Sometimes I run across something that, in the past, would not have bothered me but now, with my newfound genealogical knowledge, causes me to stop and think. Our recent trip had one of those instances (look for a longer post tomorrow about our travels).

“HELP WANTED // NO IRISH NEED APPLY”

This sign really hit me and it nearly stopped me in my tracks when I saw it at the Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. It plays on both my heritage and my current employment situation. As many of you know I have been experiencing a great deal of flux in my employment situation. I have been working an hourly job at night to pay the bills (or at least some of them) while I try to land a better paying job preferably in my chosen profession of public relations.

Thousands upon thousands of Irish flooded into the United States during the time of great famine in Ireland during the 1840's and 1850’s. Many were greeted with the sign above and were forced north to the anthracite mines. They worked grueling hourly jobs to do what they could to support their families.

This sign both helped me to bond with the men in my family who fled Ireland, were met by those same signs in Philadelphia, and were forced to work in those same mines.  At the same time, it makes me appreciate all that I have... my situation is nothing compared to what my ancestors had to deal with. This should be motivation to anyone to keep pushing forward; this is my motivation that I will find the right position, we will find the right home, and we can find the right balance.

If you let the sign tell the story you will find yourself in the sign.