“A job is not only a source of income, but above all a source of dignity. It’s a source of meaning. And an income stream from government benefits doesn’t compensate for that loss of dignity.” - Nicholas Kristof on The Marie Forleo Podcast
We often think of jobs as a source of money, but have you ever thought of a job as providing you meaning and dignity in your life?
And what does this mean for your child and other kids with disabilities who will likely face discrimination trying to get a job? Or kids who might not be able to get into the regular workforce at all? Shouldn’t they have a source of meaning and dignity in their lives too?
I’m especially hearing this from parents who are dealing with their child transitioning out of high school. Their biggest concern is they want their child to have a purpose. They don’t even care if their child gets paid for work. They want their child to wake up in the morning and know they have something to go do that matters.
The desire to have meaning and dignity in life is not relegated to only those of us who aren’t disabled. The desire to have meaning and dignity is a HUMAN desire. Jobs are important for people with disabilities because it is important for every single human being to have meaning and dignity.
So what can we do about this right now?
Anti-discrimination laws already exist, yet job prospects are still dismal. As a result, many people with disabilities create their own jobs rather than enter the traditional workforce. They sell handmade items on Etsy, they become advocates and influencers for the disability community, they start their own film production companies, and so many other creative ideas!
If society isn’t going to allow them the dignity of a job, then they create their own. And it’s our job as allies to support and help people with disabilities to create those jobs.
You can help your own child start creating a job today by simply identifying their passions and interests.
This week, I challenge you and your child to think of at least 5 interests or passions they have that could some day transition into a job, volunteer position, or even passion project. Don’t be too serious with it! Just have fun thinking and talking about all of their favorite things!
When you’re done, come back here to the comments section and let us know what you came up with!
By being creative and supporting your own child’s passions and interests, you can help them take the first step to creating a job that gives them meaning and dignity. And by doing that, you’re helping fight job discrimination for all people with disabilities.
I’m cheering you on! Keep being the amazing parent you are!