The value of a disabled person

I’m disabled due to an accident which was no fault of anyone. I have been for 20 years. I worked through it for 14 years before that but was forced to stop in 1993. Now I have a life threatening and life changing illness as well. I’m ok with that, shit happens.

Ok, that’s a very brief description of the situation I’m in. It absolutely isn’t a definition of who I am.
I am a parent, a child, a sibling, a grandparent, a cousin and a friend. I am fiercely positive and as independent as my conditions allow. I also love a good laugh.

If you measure my worth by the size of my bank balance, I’m worth nothing. If you measure my worth by my ability to make fat-cats fatter, I’m worth nothing. If you measure my worth by my physical ability, my reliability or my recent contribution to government coffers, I’m worth nothing.

But you know what? I am worth a heck of a lot in other ways. I am loved and valued by my friends and family. I inspire some with my resilience and determination. I am an example to others for different reasons – I strongly believe in honour, decency, honesty, love and integrity. My kids need me just the same as any other kids need their parents. Some people find me funny, others find me thought-provoking. I have loves, hopes, dreams and desires like anyone else. I share experiences with many people and pass on much that’s wonderful about life to those who don’t have time to stop and smell the roses.

I spend money wisely and that supports businesses and those who work for them. It also ploughs my little bit of benefits back into the economy via the taxes they pay. I contribute to this society in many ways that won’t show up on a balance sheet.

I am a disabled human being.

I am worth something.

I am worth what it costs to keep me alive.