Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Price of Freedom

This past Friday after 6 months of waiting I finally had an interview with Disability Services Queensland (DSQ). This meeting was designed to determine if I was eligible for funding that will hopefully contribute towards the cost of my personal care for when I move to Brisbane to live independently. Just so I am clear, I absolutely HAVE to get this funding if I wish to move out on my own.

How do you tell a perfectly nice stranger who is just doing their job what the price of your freedom is?

For readers here is a very general exercise: Add the following weekly tasks up.

1 How many times do you get up and go to bed?
2 How many times do you eat?
3 How many times do you go to the toilet?
4 How many times do you shop for food?
5 How many times do you do your washing?
6 How many times do you run general errands? (banking, posting letters etc)
7 How many times do you shower and/or get changed?
8 How many times do you clean your house?

Add all of those up and times the number by 10

That is (very, very roughly) how much funding in dollars I will need to live independently. Then times that amount by 52 and you get a yearly figure. Times that amount by (hopefully) 60 and you get a lifetime figure.

The accountants and bureaucrats of the world have just died simply by imagining the weight of those numbers.

Yet these figures represent the amount of money I need from the government or alternative sources just to function in daily society. Not to thrive, but just to survive. This is on top of basic costs that everyone else needs to pay for their rent, food, transport and all the other cost I have forgotten to factor in.

And I am just one man.

Looking at it from a completely unbiased point of view. What is the reason that I deserve all this money?

Is it on the off chance that one day if given the tools I might make a mark on this world?        
Is it out of compassion?
Is it because my circumstances are extraordinary?

Why should I get the money out of the thousands of other cripples who need it just as much, if not more than I do so they too can survive? Some don’t have my brains, my loving parents, my supportive environment and a million other things.

Yet if I don’t get this money I don’t know what the fuck I will do.

The price of my freedom will always be high. The question is who will pay?

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