Hard work, grafting; its all the same. We have become obsessed with working, so much so that we demonise those who don’t work or can’t work. Many times I have spoken to people whose opinion of the unemployed is not a high one, to say the least. We are told we need to earn a living, that everyone has the same opportunities and that it just takes hard work. Well I don’t buy it (especially not on my wage!)
People who are unemployed are seen as lazy, bums, people who are taking advantage of the system and we working folk are paying for them to have an easy ride! As someone who has both had a job and claimed benefits I can tell you it is no fun fair ‘on the dole’. The constant worry of an unsatisfactory job search could mean a benefit sanction for up to six months in England, we have seen in the news what this can do to the vulnerable in society; it could mean death. People living in austerity, Governments taking from the poorest and most vulnerable while creating tax loopholes for the super rich. Even people who work, normal people who work damn hard, are forced to use food banks because the wage they have earned just doesn’t cover it.
Propaganda from the media and Government is breeding a very harsh nation and most people who claim benefits are working people who need things like working tax credits or child benefits to support themselves and their families. And lets be real; not everyone is born with the same opportunities. Born in the right place, with the right parents, the right colour and the right sex, the world is your oyster. But I bet those top earning CEOs of those big companies don’t know the meaning of hard work, what it’s like to struggle, to save every penny so it lasts until your next payday. When you start at the top you don’t know what its like to WORK your way up.
What is the purpose of work? To me it is a means to an end. I go to work so I can have the money to do the things I want to do or have a roof over my head or, I work just so I can feed myself everyday. Is it just me who thinks it is wrong that we as human beings have to earn our right to live on this planet? To eat the food that grows in the ground we have to pay money and to get that money we have to sacrifice time with our loved ones, our energy, creativity and motivation. Forced relationships, strained and meaningless small talk, being around people, who at times, you cant stand more than your family and friends. That boss who knows no boundaries and thinks you’re available 24/7, not resting when your ill because you can’t afford the day off. Sometimes valued, sometimes respected but sometimes not. Going from dead end job to dead end job because the chances are you aren’t working in the field you studied at university or doing something you’re passionate about; you’re just trying to get by.
In a time where we judge each other more than ever, we class our merits and achievements as the things we have bought or the money in the bank and not our values and efforts or our contributions to society. It’s dog eat dog out there. I just want to open up the conversation about ‘the world of work’ and try to be more understanding of people’s situations and circumstances, be a little more grateful for the people I love and not work so bloody hard for someone else, but work hard on myself.