There is enough scrutiny and complaints about people on Welfare without me adding to the pile. Mostly, people on public aid are under-employed and under-educated and trying hard to end their own poverty. I am a fan of the underdog and I love watching success.
I believe in people. Professionally. Being a social worker means I am a professional cheerleader and coach combination.
I am also goal oriented. My goal is to team up with my clients and move them out of poverty. If I am the only person in the team working for this goal and my team mate is trying desperately to keep the Letterman’s Jacket without ever getting off the bench – I want to scream.
Today I listened to a woman talk about how she was too good for community service and volunteering. Also, her therapy takes up 2 hours of her week so she did not have time to get a job or go to school. She is a parent. She has a child who will follow her lead and want to be her. She is teaching her child to fail by not trying. The excuse she used was “I’m smart!”, as if the Welfare to Work programs are for stupid people.
Here is what I wanted to scream :
“No! No you are not smart. You are insecure and make terrible life decisions without reflection or personal accountability. If, indeed, you were intelligent, even I – with my meager intellectual powers of divination would be able to discern that you are employing your problem solving skills and abilities and mixing them generously with temperance and mercy for the people your decisions impact. You are a selfish creaton. No, not the village of Creaton – look it up in the Urban Dictionary and learn to go with the flow of expanding vocabulary and changes in society. Adapt, damn it. Stop insisting that we let you define the world and your participation in it. The world is populated with other people. There are people who are NOT YOU, and who don’t know about your existence and even if they do know about you: they do not care. You are insignificant; not because you are unimportant, but because you are self-important. Do good in the world. Do good for the world. Be good. Be yourself, for the good of those around you. Be self-sufficient as much as possible and be someone to lean upon more often than you demand others hold you up and carry you through life.”
I know that change is hard and scary. Being self sufficient is part of parenting. If you feel like you can’t be a part of society – should you be raising a child?
Also, sure you are smart : but, only one of us is being paid to sit at this desk. (ha ha, it is me!)