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I Don't Believe in Lazy

by: Leann Manuel

Many of the colleagues I have had in the social work field over the years have heard me say this. At times, this phrase functioned as a sort of a mantra. It was also something I commonly expressed to my clients when I worked as the Disability Advocate at the Penticton & Area Access Centre a fist full of years ago. In fact, the longer I work in the field of social work, the more profoundly I know this to be the case.

Being perceived or judged to be lazy is a complicated issue. At its roots you will discover the human experience of shame and the need for acceptance at minimum. I could go on for pages with my thoughts on this, but instead I want to share with you an article I came across in my facebook feed a few weeks ago. It is very good food for thought and I encourage you all to read it.

Laziness Does Not Exist. But unseen barrier do. By: Devon Price

I’ll close this thought by adding another observation: Most of my clients at the Access Centre would rather be perceived as lazy, than be perceived as disabled, mentally ill, brain injured, traumatized, battered, weak, victimized, or somehow deficient from the so called norm. This is the cost of stigma. It is more appealing to be deemed ‘lazy’ than it is to constantly advocate for yourself and the barriers you face. Ironic isn’t it?

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