Recently, the New York Times included an op-ed, the Toxic Work World, that included the following statement at the outset:
The people who can compete and succeed in this culture are an ever-narrower slice of American society: largely young people who are healthy, and wealthy enough not to have to care for family members.
The article then goes on to includes a number of good points with which I agreed. But I found myself thinking of the line quoted above and not focusing fully on the points made.
Yes, there are burden that go with age. But it is also very hard to be a younger worker. When I see young workers, I think: you will have it so much harder than I did.
And, I am deeply troubled by the suggestion that those who may be able to afford child care are not caring for family members. Yes, having the money to afford child care provides a worker with an advantage but that does not mean that he or she is not a care giver or has life on a silver platter.
I re-read the article without the portion suggesting that some struggle less or are otherwise privileged. I was much more open to what followed.
We can emphasize the struggle of some without suggesting others are without struggles of their own. If we forget this, our message may be lost and we may alienate a segment of our workforce.
The blog should not be construed as legal advice or as pertaining to specific factual situations.