Shots of Wit

A regular posting of witticisms, aphorisms, and general musings by Clifford Cohen.

Earning your way…

You may have to earn your way in this world, but you don’t have to earn your right to be here.

Back Story

When a person does not pull their own weight, this does not mean that they have no right to exist. And yet: that is exactly what some in our society would have us believe. There are so many issues with how we perceive value in general in our society. Relative to valuing people, it has come to a point where if a person is not supporting themselves, they are not worthy of any respect. They are considered a wastrel, a drain on the public coffers, or worse.

I am not justifying laziness. I am merely observing that sometimes we don’t value what should be valued, and we do not encourage certain behaviors because we consider such behaviors unproductive, when in fact they can be very productive. Even if a person is a complete ne’er-do-well, no one has a right to question that person’s right to life. In short, this aphorism is an affirmation, that applies to any person who is currently demeaned or marginalized by society, that validates that person’s right to be sustained by their fellow man.

A reader of this back story might be inclined to think of me as a “liberal” (whatever that really is), but that would misread my intentions and my “political” philosophy. I am suggesting that inability (or refusal) of someone to sustain themselves in the manner prescribed in our current economy does not necessarily equate to a sociopathic attempt to “leech off” of others. Even when it does, there are better ways to deal with such people than removing support with the intention of making such people go quietly away.

The thought might also occur: “does such a thing really happen: do people ever really call into question a person’s right to exist, simply because they do not fully support themselves?” My impression is that this will be the logical result of current rhetoric…if we don’t begin to rethink our perceptions and priorities.

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