Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hard Work?

Hard working families. Our governmental spokespeople constantly refer to hard-working families. It has ground me down a bit. My instinctive reaction to the privileged minority who run our country is that they are condescending. I have therefore waited until some organised thoughts take over from my guts. Having done that I am now certain they are condescending.

Firstly, I have spent all my life trying to avoid putting the word 'hard' in front of work. I have been fortunate enough to do jobs I enjoy most of that period and a lot of the time it has felt like I was paid to do my hobby, not drudgery.

Secondly, all the management training I ever received encouraged me (and I hate the expression so swallow hard and take it) to work not hard but smart. Time spent musing, pondering, thinking and planning saves having to graft, or panic at the last minute and run around giving headless chickens a bad reputation. But pondering time is fun not hard. For me anyway.

But thirdly, and bigly, what about those who would love to have something to do that was hard work but are physically unable, or unqualified, or out of practice? How does it feel to have someone constantly praise that which you would love to be but cannot become in your own strength?

Don't get me wrong. I hate scroungers and tax dodgers as much as the next person. But I feel for the people who find themselves at the bottom of life's ladder. Whether they have come to their senses and repented or have always found themselves there through circumstances I care not. I want my government, in their language at least, to include them in those they want to help.

If you want to better yourself, no matter what has put you in the place where only 'better' will do, I believe the state should be with you. And if that means benefits for the moment, or housing help, or medical care, or free school meals so be it.

If we are a big society we are in this together. Those as fortunate as me need to help those who are struggling, granted. But those who are most fortunate, those with the power to change things right now, need to use inclusive language. The poor. Count them in.

1 comment:

RuthJ said...

Thank you. Several of the most deserving people I know are prevented by ill health or other circumstances from being fully self supporting. Each of them would love nothing more than to be able to work hard in a way which would make them independent, instead of working hard just to cope with their circumstances. In my world, a refusal to break bruised reeds or quench smouldering flax is a core value. Thank you for speaking for the bruised.