I was checking out my Facebook News Feed this afternoon and came across this meme (pictured above) that contains sentiments I hear every few weeks online. Basically, the poster seems to be gathering all people on welfare together in the same boat, calling them lazy, and telling them to get off their butts and get to work. I am not targeting the person who posted today's particular meme because I like them, but that is what meme's like this one generally imply - that all people on welfare are lazy. What's more is that many people often target people on disability as well. The thing is, many if not most people on welfare simply have not been able to find a job that earns enough to support their families, so they naturally apply for government assistance. And what does the creator of this particular meme want these people to do? Go without a phone? What if an employer tries to get in touch with them? As for people on disability, there is still the wide misconception that if someone looks able-bodied then they should be able to work. This is not necessarily the case. I am an example of this. I am on disability, but not because I am paralyzed or have a heart condition, but due to depression, anxiety, and bi-polar. Does this mean I will be on disability forever? No, but it is a safety net that I need at the present time.
I think that a lot of this comes down to two things: 1) Some people's resentment of having to work in jobs that they are unhappy with, and 2) A lack of understanding towards the people who are utilizing the social safety nets that we have in this country.
Are there people who are bilking the system? Sure there are. But please stop griping, and realize that the last thing most people on welfare and disability want is to be reliant on these safety nets. Have a little understanding and compassion.
Mark Andrew Alward