This is probably one of the most controversial topics I’ll ever write about, so before I continue let us get one thing straight. I am not a racist or a bigot, nor do I believe that we shouldn’t help third world countries. I am just realistic and feel that quite often this topic is ignored. Not many people will probably read this but if even a few people take something away from this then I’ll be satisfied.
As of me writing this there is a video going around, a viral campaign called ‘Stop Kony’. Within 24 hours of this thing going viral I have been invited to things on facebook and seen a bazillion tweets on the topic. I’ve also seen some criticism regarding the truth of the video, comments about the methods of the charity behind it and other skepticism. I am keeping out of the way of it, not because I don’t care but because I always feel such an internet sensation is hypocritical and ignorant. In the Western world there seems to be a plague of ignorance spreading, it’s main symptom pushing the problems of it’s own people under the carpet. Don’t worry, this isn’t a political rant about the economy or the government. It’s about every day people, like me and many other people I know.
The invisible people of the western world.
I’ll be more specific; I’m talking about your neighbour, your teacher, your best friend and most likely even some of your own family who suffer from an invisible illness. An invisible illness is exactly that, it’s invisible. There are thousands of people living in first world countries who suffer daily from pain, discomfort and a variety of symptoms, and no one has a clue they even exist. The children of third world countries get more attention and aid than these people do – even from their own governments. At present in the UK the Disability Living Allowance is aimed at people who need a full time carer or who cannot walk – it doesn’t matter if walking is painful, or you have other problems that seriously hinder your life or stop you working. The government in the UK doesn’t care. If you can walk you’re fine.
I said that this wasn’t about the government, and so I’m moving on. The government isn’t the only issue in the everyday battle for Invisible Illness sufferers. Every day people like you the person reading this right now, only view disability as something you can physically see. If someone has all their limbs, has no walking aid or wheelchair, or any obvious physical disfigurement then you assume they are healthy. So, what can you do? Educate yourself! Here are some useful links to get you started:
- But you don’t look sick
- 30 things about my illness you may not know
- What you can’t see does hurt her
If you like this entry then please share it and spread the word. Or if you want to help someone consider helping one of the smaller charities out there. That’s not to say that the bigger charities don’t need support but think how many thousands of people know about that charity in comparison to the smaller ones? Every charity helps someone. There are small things you can do such as helping people if they fall, helping someone with an injury carry something or open a door. If you know someone who has an invisible illness be supportive and don’t be one of those people who say ‘but you don’t look sick’ – pain doesn’t always have a big neon light to guide you!