Martin Luther King (check out this website) was my hero when I was a teenager in the 1960’s. He convinced me that an individual can make the world a better place. Sound sappy?
I hope not — but I have to tell you that every moment that I spend coaching someone who is determined to stay successfully (not just minimally) employed makes me realize how critical it is to hope and believe.
It’s as a member of a minority – one that is race and religion blind – that I’m thinking of Dr. King today. Did you know that 90m. people in the U.S. live with a chronic illness? And too many are socially and economically disenfranchised — Why?<p/>
Because of pervasive and wrong headed ideas about our capabilities, deep rooted concern about motivation (or lack of it), and a real failure on any part of our economic system to change this. Sound familiar? All minorities could say the same.
Many of the people that I coach are in career transition because chronic illness has made it impossible for them to do the jobs they could once do well.A mother emailed me today asking if I can help her son who is about to graduate high school. She lives in Canada and is looking for resources that will help him figure out how he can work and support himself given the autoimmune diseases he lives with. Does anyone know of any resources for career resources for people with chronic illness in Canada?
We, the chronically ill, need to know that being successful in work is not a pipe dream — even if the economic system isn’t set up to support this. That’s not heroic – we’re just trying to keep getting a piece of the pie.
Speaking of heroes, Joan Friedlander , my co-author and fellow blogger on, KeepWorking Girlfriend!, wrote about Richard Cohen’s new book, Strong at the Broken Places. He profiles 5 “heroes” who live with life threatening chronic illness. I haven’t read it yet (although I read Blindsided, also by Cohen). Have you read it? Let us know (comment)
Share your thoughts. Does living with chronic illness take heroism? Who is a hero for you?