Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Simple Suggestion #84... Engage in justice issues

Our world has no shortage of injustice, so it's not hard to find a cause in which to engage, or an organization that needs support in its efforts to right wrongs in our communities, countries, or world. Plug the word injustice into a search engine, and you may end up with 40 million hits, but don't let that fool you. People are willing to claim almost anything as injustice, from the unfair wages of a football pro to the cost of a manicure.

But let's get real. True injustice exists where living beings are denied their rights to food, water, appropriate living space and the ability to meet their basic needs -- and this where involvement and intervention are essential from those who have the ability to make a difference. If we are to ensure the basics of life for all, unfairness, discrimination, prejudice, bias and wrongdoing can't be a part of what we do. A world of fairness, equality, equity and goodness isn't an unattainable Utopia if we do more than talk about those ideals -- if we do our best to bring them into existence everywhere we go. We are all called to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with God and creation.

The problem is that so many of our world's injustices seem too big and black to handle -- that we'll never be able to do more than light our one tiny candle. But one candle is still a candle, and it can light many others if we're willing to share the flame in our hearts, our desire that things be right.

So here's a little list of candles anyone can light. If you have any to add, I'd be happy to lengthen the list. And if we all hold our little lights high, eventually, the world won't be quite so dark.
  • Help Amnesty International to rescue a human rights activist from incarceration or torture
  • Join the World Wildlife Fund, Ducks Unlimited, or other animal welfare agencies to see where help is needed
  • Write a letter to a newspaper editor about a local justice issue that needs to be addressed, or organize a meeting of interested stakeholders
  • Get involved in reforestation projects
  • Mentor a local child who needs some adult attention, or sponsor one in the developing world through an organization like Plan Canada
And there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other possibilities. I found a really neat website that has many suggestions for activities that take 15 minutes, a few hours, or a few days' effort. I'm not sure how up-to-date it is or where it originates, but it gave me lots of food for thought by reminding me of local opportunities to be an activist in my own small ways.

And I'd like to suggest that getting our children involved in justice issues at an early age sets them on the path toward being compassionate and well-rounded adults. It will also mean that our world will be a brighter place, and that's definitely worth our engagement.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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