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Meaning of Life

I was at a meeting with Seb Coe the other day discussing Olympic ticket prices and it brought back thoughts I had last tennis courtyear when I went to Wimbledon for the tennis. Wimbledon is one of those things that you hear people say “oh, everybody should do it at least once”. I thought they were right, so last summer I camped out for centre court tickets.

Wandering around bathed in sunshine and pleasantness, I found myself agreeing  that Wimbledon really is something that everybody should do at least once in their life. But my Centre Court ticket was £72 and I remember thinking that for some people, they just couldn’t afford to do that.

Some people may look at the amounts people get from benefits and think that they could live on them. But the question is what do we mean by ‘live’?

During the meeting with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic & Paralympic Games, it was clear that  LOCOG’s responsibility is to put on the Games without needing even more financial support from Government. They may want to and are giving financial support to disabled people who want to attend events and need a second ticket for a carer, but they also have to sell tickets.

Benefits can be enough to live on, but they may not be enough to allow people to participate in those events that make up part of our nation’s life – Wimbledon, London Olympics, premiership football matches etc. The things that people say should be something everybody does, become things that some people cannot.

Wimbledon does have £12 tickets for outside courts, lower football division games can be a fifth of the price and Olympic tickets will start from £20. Having been to Centre Court and to West Ham-Liverpool recently, I would now rather go to the outside Wimbledon courts and watch Queens Park vs  Montrose.

But I can say that because I have had the good fortune to have afforded the experience of these top events. Other people will never have had that experience. And that is what life is all about – a variety of rich experiences.

It is impractical to suggest that Government must now start paying people for the best seats in the house at all the top cultural and sporting events in the country. And some rich experiences are free or cheap – beautiful parks and gardens, museums and art galleries, libraries and leisure facilities.

However, there are other things that are not and when we consider how much a disabled person needs to live on, I would like to think that we are imagining a life full of rich experience, and not just one of existence.

Take care

Gordon

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March 7, 2011 - Posted by | Benefits, breaks for carers, Relationships | , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. As you say – this is what life is all about.
    I have been told my expectations are too high for my son as i want to take him to the olympics etc and why shouldnt he?

    Comment by Casdok | March 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Why not indeed?

      But the way the government is looking at benefits, the attitude seems to be “you want a life of rich experiences, get a job” – with no understanding of the barriers. There seems to be a strong attitude out there that because laws exist to break down barriers, the barriers have been removed. Yet look at how long sex discrimination laws have been in place and still women earn less than men.

      Comment by charles47 | March 8, 2011 | Reply

  2. Of course your son should go Casdok
    I hope you will be telling us about the experience and how good it was.
    Gordon, Another thought provoking topic.
    Wendy

    Comment by chill4us | March 7, 2011 | Reply

  3. For me LIFE has has been about CARING for my disabled wife,and for 25 years that is all i have done thought and lived. Now after two major COMPLEX TOTAL HIP REPLACEMENT operatioins everything maybe about to change.
    So for me its not about GREAT expectations or grandiose plans but about just coping with new circumstances and new challenges,and to be honest after 25 years of caring all i wnat is a quiet life without to many nasty suprises.
    and just to answer the chance of going to special occasions and sports meetings
    I DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY AS THE CARERS ALLOWANCE I HAVE IS GIVEN WITH ONE HAND AND TAKEN OFF MY WIFE,s INCOME SUPPORT WITH THE OTHER HAND.

    I SUPPOSE IN A COUNTRY WHERE ONLY A FEW GET VAST MILLIONS FOR DOING LITTLE AND ALMOST BANKRUPTING THE COUNTRY CARERS LIKE ME AND MILLIONS LIKE ME ARE CHEAP SLAVE LABOUR AND IN THE EYES OF THIS NATION NOT
    WORTH MUCH

    Comment by Taras Kurylak | March 8, 2011 | Reply

    • Hear hear Taras.!I know exactly where your comming from. My husband and myself and kids have been through so much all we want is a life of peace and quiet with no nasty shocks and unwanted economical suprises. When you live through no fault of your own a hand to mouth existance for decades,the least one needs is enough money to live a relatively calmer hassle free debt free existance. Never mind sporting events.

      Comment by Chrissie Manfredi | March 14, 2011 | Reply


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