The fallacy of fair work
The idea of “pull your own weight” is not only ableist but also ridiculous and only held by those who, allied with the ego, are intent on projecting their guilt onto others.
Yet I find it challenging to forgive, I think because on some level of my mind, I believe it. Disabled people are told in subtle and overt ways that they are a burden on society.
In spite of its obvious absurdity, this attitude is one I’ve encountered in many places, all the way from an individual level, through a group level, up to a systemic level:
Dad, who projects his belief in his own ‘debt to society’ onto the children he regrets having.
My circle at Dance Camp Wales last summer, some of whom didn’t see me doing any work and got very angry.
The UK benefits system’s “capacity for work” assessment, which tries to identify disabled people who are ‘capable’ of work, so that they can be coerced into doing so, just like everyone else.
These are the advocates of the treadmill
I do not want to defend. To defend would be to give the idea legitimacy.
- We live in a post scarcity civilisation but not a post scarcity society.1
- Most employment these days is competitive - not adding anything of value. If you don’t do it, and there’s demand for it, someone else will. As Idris once told me:
There are no jobs for disabled people in this economy.
- I look for the job that no one else will do, and do that.
When you are ready to accept that the only thing that really matters in your illusory lifetime is the successful completion of your lessons of true forgiveness, then you will be truly wise indeed.2
I have taken Pursah’s words very much to heart.
- If someone thinks there’s something I should be doing, it must be their work. Thanks Byron Katie for teaching us about projection.
As an employer, I tell my support worker that her job description is “to be at peace”.
- The vast work effortlessly dispatched by the wise, trivialises the worthless efforts of the ignorant. It is the privilege of those who produce wealth, to share it with those who do not.