What I learned that is that we are all individual creations of our Father in Heaven, totally unique and finished products of His making. While the people with whom I met are all in a similar situation of looking for work, one thing became crystal clear to me -- their circumstances of unemployment are NOT their fault.
I bore witness that I have observed the systemic failure of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown from a front row seat. As we were trying to launch a pure model of CDOs, we were paddling upstream against the worldwide ingestion (later turning to indigestion, then violent vomiting) of CDOs that were backed by the toxic sub-prime paper.
The saddest outcome locally in Salt Lake City, was the announcement recently of the ultra-conservative Beneficial Financial Group (formerly Beneficial Life Insurance Company) started a century ago by Heber J. Grant, a then-future President of the Church. Sadly, it is his great-grandson, Kent Cannon, who now presides over its dissolution. I was sad on a personal level for Kent and for the employees of the organization, but it reaffirmed what I have been feeling and knowing for some time now -- the greed of a few bad apples in the worldwide debacle has yielded the sour cider we are all now drinking.
To my new-found friends in the growing unemployment line, I offer my assessment for what it's worth, and this word of encouragement -- you DO have a future, and you will do what we all must do from time to time: You will re-invent a new and a better you for the next chapter to come in your lives.
I wish you all well, and stand ready to assist with whatever resources I can marshal to help you.