Date: 12 October 2015

Being a single parent

Living outside the nuclear narrative will create so many jarring moments with others that soon you won’t speak, only nod. You will do The Nod when the nursery sends your kid home with a Happy Father’s Day card that she’s been made to copy her name on to. You will employ The Nod when other mums say they know exactly what it’s like being a single parent because their lovely husband works abroad for up to two weeks at a time.

… Gradually, you will realise that you, too, have made other people do The Nod all your life. That you moaned about your mum to a friend whose mum was dead, that you complained about being skint to friends who’ll never earn what you do, that you phoned in sick with hangovers when a colleague who lives with a chronic pain condition wouldn’t dream of missing work. A lifetime of selfishness will open up before you like a seam. You will watch a friend lose her two-year-old, who dies for no reason in the night, and clutch your own child very, very tightly and thank God that she is here, and that the smell of her hair is such sweetness that even your nostrils are in love with her. She will become your levity and your gravity. You will be more than able to cope.

Sophie Heywood,  How hard is it to raise a kid on your own? Where do I begin…

Economic Inequality is a Threat to Democracy

The political equality that is required by democracy is always under threat from economic inequality, and the more extreme the economic inequality, the greater the threat to democracy. If democracy is compromised, there is a direct loss of wellbeing because people have good reason to value their ability to participate in political life, and the loss of that ability is instrumental in threatening other harm.

…To worry about these consequences of extreme inequality has nothing to do with being envious of the rich and everything to do with the fear that rapidly growing top incomes are a threat to the wellbeing of everyone else.
Angus Deaton

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