You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘social justice’ tag.

Why do I expect that the goals God sends my way will be easy?  You would think that by now I would have gotten past that silly thought.

Putting off doing the laundry is easy.

Dropping paperwork onto a pile on my desk?  Also easy.

Talking to someone I don’t know about social justice?  Not so easy.

Why is it so hard to talk about race and racism?  In part, it was how I was brought up.  You don’t talk about things that make people uncomfortable.  When I was a kid, it was easy enough to avoid discussing racism.  We lived on the more or less white side of the highway.  We still live in the same area but it is now much more diverse. Racism doesn’t go away just because you are now in a mixed race environment.

But that doesn’t mean we have the tools to deal with it.  Remember?  We were raised not to discuss uncomfortable things.  We have to learn to see.  We have to learn to speak.  After all, racism won’t be reduced until it is not just a black topic but also a white topic.   I have to admit.  It is much easier for me to write about than it is for me to talk about.

Maybe one day God will set me on an easy path but apparently not today.

–SueBE

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According to the Pew Charitable Trust, my family is solidly middle class.  But it can be hard to feel that way when you are the poor ones within an extended family.  We’ve never had a home built.  We don’t jet off overseas.  And we live on the wrong side of the river and we actually like it here.

In spite of this, I’m amazed at how few materials wants I have.  One of my editors gave each of her writers an Amazon gift card.  I would put something in my cart and then take it out again.  “Nah, I don’t really need this.”  Or I’d try to pick out a new pair of earrings . . . but no.  They’re pretty enough but I don’t feel a drive to own them.  It is amazing how many things I can talk myself out of buying.

Poor or wealthy?  In spite of the opinions of those who scoff at my non-designer purse, my heavily used car, and yes that is a hole in the toe of my slipper, I feel wealthy enough. I’m above the flood line and live someplace that has reliable electricity.  I have a home and heat.

But I still find myself longing for a few things.  I hate injustice.  And it drives me nuts when people abuse the environment which means that I want social justice and environmental awareness.

Wealthy enough to want for others?  Maybe I can make that a thing.

–SueBE

 

I’d love to be thinner.  And my house.  I want it to be neat.  Social justice?  The environment?  Yeah, I hope things get better there too.

But the problem is that I realize that change require more than hope.  It requires action and we just can’t act to fix everything.  It just isn’t possible.

So what does change really require?  Desire.  Drive.  Determination.  If we have these things, we will work to make change happen.

This means that my house will probably stay messy but I’ll keep working for social justice.  One of the things that I’m doing is reading a book – Waking Up White by Debby Irving.  As a start to facing racism head on, our presbytery has asked everyone to read this book. And each church needs to host a conversation of some kind.

What kind of event will we host?  I don’t know.  We haven’t gotten that far but we are determined to do something and four of us have started planning our event.  Desire.  We’ve definitely got that.  Fortunately with four of us working together we’ll keep each other moving forward.  We think we can.

Where are your desire, drive, and determination focused?

–SueBE

Sometimes we need to hear something more than once for the point to be made.  Today, I watched a TED Talk featuring Teresa Njoroge titled “What I Learned Serving Time for a Crime I Didn’t Commit.” (I’ve imbedded it below.)

Teresa started her talk by telling her story.  She worked in Kenya’s financial district in a job she loved.  She had studied hard to make it in this booming sector.  Then one day she was told that she had participated in a fraudulent transaction.  She was scared, but she hadn’t done anything.  By the time she was sent to prison, she has been asked several times to pay out large sums of money to make the problem “go away.” She didn’t so, in spite of her innocence, she went to prison for a year.  Her 3-month old daughter went with her.

In prison, she heard the stories of women.  Women with no educations.  Women from the poorest backgrounds.  Women who couldn’t pay bribes even if they didn’t trust the system.

By the time her one year sentence had been served, Teresa was determined to help women like these make better decisions and also have the resources needed to defend themselves from false accusations.  She founded Clean Start Kenya.

Teresa has since been exonerated of all charges.  She has also worked in the incarceration capital of the world – Louisiana, USA.

Yes.  The incarceration capital of the world is in the US.  Not North Korea.  Not Iraq or Afghanistan.  The US.

Thank God for Teresa Njoroge who refused to pay the bribe, who refused to write off her fellow prisoners.  This forest needs more trees like Teresa.

–SueBE

“Man, I just wish she would stop doing that.”

“Why can’t it be like X instead of Y?”

“Why doesn’t someone do something about this?”

We’ve all said things like this whether we were talking about DACA, global warming, social justice, or the items on your kid’s school supply list.  We say these things looking outward.  Why?  Because it is a whole lot easier than looking where change needs to start.

Whether it is an attitude or behavior, something personal or societal, change begins with you.  God will give you the tools you need.  The first one may very well be the awareness that something needs to change.

–SueBE

I had to laugh when I saw this was the next image in my queue.  Yes, I create them.  But I save them in batches to post one by one.  So it isn’t like I planned this for Labor Day, but how appropriate.

The problems we face as a society can be addressed on the small-scale.  Food drives.  Fund raising walks.  Fill a truck with . . . household goods or diapers or whatever the current need might be.

Or they can be addressed with laws and organization.

What needs do you see that may require a spike to create a long-term solution?

–SueBE

We human beings only have so much energy, so much focus, so much time.  And, at least with me, there is so much that I want to do.  No way I can do it all, so I have to pick and choose.

My office?  Disaster.  But I’ve written three books this year.

My garden?  Needs weeding but I volunteered at every swim meet except one.  This was my son’s last swim season so that was a big deal for me.

I feel the same way about causes.  My own focuses tend to be on social justice and the environment.

It isn’t easy and progress may not even be constant, but that’s okay.  It is totally worth the effort.

–SueBE

 

 

 

Yes, social justice has been in my mind a lot lately.

Righting wrongs is never easy.  You have to change the old ways.  You have to establish new ways.  And you have to keep at it until the new ways become common place.

But social justice is so worth the effort.

Start with a small goal.  Take the love of God into the situation.  Rinse and repeat at needed.

–SueBE

 

 

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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