Often I want to blog about work, but the nature of my work dictates otherwise. I can’t blog about my clients, because it would be a very serious breach of confidentiality. But my clients are the most interesting part of my work!
I hear new stories every single day. Some of them are heart-wrenching. Some of them are downright disgusting. Sometimes my clients are beaten-down victims. I have a lot of clients who have mental health issues and have been running a treadmill of trouble and despair for years, mostly as a result of systemic failure. Some of my clients are just regular people who have hit a bit of a snag. Some of my clients are career criminals who just don’t give a fuck.
Access to justice. That’s what it’s all about. That’s our bottom line, the purest expression of our mandate. Civil rights aren’t just for people we like, or people who are like us, or people who don’t offend our delicate sensibilities. They are for everyone. Everyone. They’re for the schizophrenic who cycles on and off his meds; they’re for the sixteen year old single mother; they’re for young guys who lose their tempers; they’re for recidivist inmates who tell me I’m a fucking idiot (which quite honestly, some days I am); they’re for women who’ve been stalked, beaten and otherwise abused. Everyone. Everyone.
The day I stop believing that is the day I shouldn’t be doing my job any more.
I love my work. I love being part of something good and noble, a great equalizer. I believe that true justice can’t be bought, and that human rights are worth fighting for. I could never sell things for a living, or do work that I didn’t believe in. I would be miserable, and I know it.
So as it is, I’m always challenged. Some days I’m stressed. Some days leave me depressed. Some days I have to roll my eyes at the sheer stupidity of people.
But every single day is worth it.