As of late I’ve been feeling a little disparate and very much like a burden on the tax payer, in spite of knowing perfectly well that I can’t change things and that it isn’t my fault. This is a very timely reminder for me that – actually – I earn every penny of my disability payments simply by trying to live as normal a life as possible. Recovering from serious epilepsy-related injuries takes time and a good deal of effort on the part of my body’s system and this often leaves me too weak to get out of bed, if I haven’t broken something and am just unable to get out of bed anyway. I am no wimp, thank you very much, so if I say that I am incapacitated for any reason then it means that I am incapacitated!
And I work hard, every day, just at getting better and trying to shuffle about as normally and as safely as I can.
Originally posted on Paul Bernal's Blog:
There are few expressions that annoy me more than ‘hard working people’ – and few that we hear more in the current political climate. There are so many things wrong with it that it’s hard to know where to start…
What is ‘work’?
That the first question for me. What is ‘work’? What does it mean to work ‘hard’? Is paid work the only work that counts – because that’s the way that it often sounds. Certainly the implication is that housework, caring for kids, caring for relatives, for older people, for people who are sick or disabled, doesn’t ‘count’ – and yet for anyone who’s ever done much of that (and I doubt that many of the people who roll out the trite expression ‘hardworking people’ have ever experienced much of this) it’s every bit as ‘hard’ as any kind of paid work, every bit as stressful, every bit as ‘valuable’ as what is normally considered ‘work’. I’ve had times being a full-time father, and frankly that was far, far tougher in almost every way than any of my conventional work, whether it was in the private, voluntary or public sector (and I’ve worked in all three).