Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

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I am physically disabled. I have a terminal illness. I started working after school at the age of 12. At the age of 16, I began paying into social security. In May of this year, I will be 50. After 10 years of marriage I was divorced. I worked and raised two sons by myself.

I worked up until July of this year. I was just recently awarded my social security benefits (disability). Since I quit working, many people have spoken behind my back whispering, "Why doesn't she get a job?"

I would love to be healthy enough to hold down a job. I'm still young. I am not looking for sympathy, but some empathy would be nice.

All I am asking is that people not judge other people until they know the whole story. There are many people like me. We aren't freeloaders. The frustration of having a healthy mind and a disabled body is great.

I intend to make the best of what I have and do what I can. I am fortunate to have three beautiful grandchildren to bring me joy. But because I am being judged a lazy person, soaking the system, this is taking from this joy.

Please, good people who believe in working for a living, realize that many of us in this situation envy your ability to work and don't judge us. We are still a productive part of society. I have (we have) a lot to give.

Bonnie Cowan, Payson

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