Passivity is the action of doing nothing when confronted with a problem to solve or an opportunity to grasp. It is often a learnt behaviour that passive individuals are not aware of themselves.
For myself, the problem is not so much that people are passive, but that society not only accepts passivity but that it rewards it. There is a huge industry made up of charities, political parties, the media and other organisations that rely on creating passive individuals and keeping people passive.
When someone is deemed to be passive, it is perceived they have a vulnerability to a whole range of abuse, and therefore they need their affairs looked after on their behalf by a charity or other well-wisher, often without their knowledge, permission or involvement.
Too many charities set themselves up as the saviours of a specific group like ‘the poor’, ‘the disabled’ or so on without any involvement of those they claim to represent. Their interest is solely their survival and their growth as employers of the middle class, where their directors are paid competitive six-figure salaries to trade in passivity.
Rather than helping those they claim to care about, they are merely keeping them passive so they remain helpful to the objectives of the charity. In this business model, the worst thing you can do is empower your power base so that the individuals you depend upon no longer need your help, doing yourself out of a job! Instead, charities need to ensure the goal they claim they want to achieve, like the end of poverty, is never achievable. The endless reports they produce portraying people as victims and blaming others like the government are simply designed to portray the issue as unachievable.
So the purpose of activities like employment support for people with impairments is to keep their clients out of work as long as possible so they can profit as much as possible. This means focusing on the negatives and ensuring they feel unable to do anything without the paid support of the charity.
For many years, I have understood this industry and tried to challenge its powerful hold on society. I believe people should be properly enabled and empowered to achieve the goals they want from life in a timeframe that works for them. If charities have a place in society, it should be as the running mates of individuals to supporting them to achieve, not as their modern day oppressors.
Before things can change, society needs to understand there is a problem to be solved and that charities are not the heroes but the villains in helping individuals. In the era of social media, the penny may drop at any moment and the realisation of a different viewpoint may quickly spread, where governments and others are then called upon to act for positive change. I hope that this moment comes sooner than later.
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