I found this card on my desk the other day…
I picked it up and just held it for a while, staring at the two words before me ‘seek justice’. What did that mean? ‘Justice’ seems like such a massive word. So I looked them up in the dictionary and this is what it said…
Seek: An attempt to find, obtain or achieve, or a desire.
Justice: The quality of being fair and reasonable. Just behaviour or treatment.
So it’s an attempt or desire to obtain and achieve fair and reasonable treatment.
Wow, what a challenge. Well if that’s what it means, why should I, and how do I, ‘seek’ it?
That card was given to me by International Justice Mission so I contacted them and asked them my whys and hows. This is what they told me:
When I read these statistics, my eyes welled up with tears, because these aren’t just statistics. Each one of these numbers is a person who has been sold, abused, beaten, raped, tricked, stolen, hurt, imprisoned and treated without the respect that they deserve as a human being.
This is Manna’s story from India…
When 14-year-old Manna ran away from her abusive home, she met a woman who offered her a job selling fabric. She accepted the position, and the woman provided her a place to sleep for the night. When Manna awoke in the morning, the woman was gone, and Manna discovered that she was in a brothel. For the next two years, she was held in the brothel and raped by customers for the profit of the brothel owners.
This is the world that we live in. Suddenly this warm, comfortable coffee shop I’m writing in is feeling quite uncomfortable and the coffee that cost me £2.45 is leaving a bit of a nasty taste in my mouth. I live in a safe place surrounded by people who love and care for me and, the truth is, I never give these people a thought, I feel really ashamed. If koko is a place to explore life together then it can’t just be you and I exploring our own lives. We need to have our eyes open, aware of what’s going on in the world and standing up to be part of the change. Why? Because, quite simply, life isn’t about only focusing on ourselves.
Ok, if that’s some of the injustice going on in the world, then how do we seek justice (remember that’s an attempt or a desire to achieve fair treatment).
HOW CAN I BE PART OF THE CHANGE?
To be honest, deep down my question is ‘‘Can I really make a difference?’
Mother Teresa said this: ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.’
Woohoo! Go Mother Teresa! I love this. So I’ve chatted with Claire Rush (Remember her? She wrote ‘Because I am a girl…’ ) about injustice and she said this…
“Sometimes when I pause for a moment and look around me, I feel overwhelmed and paralysed – a bit like a rabbit in headlights. Injustice is all around us – on TV, on the web and in the newspapers. In fact, when I leave my house – injustices in my community like homelessness, poverty and bullying slap me around my face.
What can you and I really do?
A lot actually.
You and I are influencers. You influence people… and you probably don’t even know it. Do you have friends, family and followers on social media? This is your sphere of influence. You can choose to influence them in a positive (or a negative) way. Let’s go with positive – let’s be the change we want to see in the world.
Small changes that we make to our everyday life can have a massive impact on the world around us.
What small change are you going to make this week to make the world a fairer place?
– Appreciate food – I love opening up my cupboard and munching on goodies whenever I want but millions of people inside and outside the UK aren’t blessed like me. People are struggling to feed themselves and their families. This isn’t fair. This week, why don’t you make sure that you eat everything off your plate? Maybe you could take the Live below the Line challenge and live on £1 a day – www.livebelowtheline.com.
– Appreciate water – 90 million people on earth don’t have access to clean water. Many people have to walk for miles everyday in dangerous places just to get water to clean themselves. Let’s try and not waste water by leaving the tap running when you’re cleaning your teeth or boiling more water than you need for a cup of tea. Maybe you could spend a week walking to and from a supermarket a mile away and buying your water to experience what it’s like for many people around the world.
– Love one another – one of the simplest things we can do is be nice to one another. Do we talk well of each other? Do we use social media to encourage each other? Do we look after the vulnerable people around us? Do we exclude people from our gatherings because they look different or talk differently?
So, what small change are you going to make to your life this week to make the world a fairer place? Remember, you’re an influencer.”
My hope is that in the months and years to come, each one of us will begin to cast our stones and that ripples will be felt around the world.
P.s My challenge for you this week is to tell 3 people that there are nearly 30 million slaves in the world today — more than any other time in history. Raise your voice and get people informed!