Here we are on the final day of this April A – Z challenge through the alphabet. QueasyPeasy (QP) has focussed these posts around the cause of Social Justice, highlighting particular aspects of substance dependence and how there are matters to raise the flag for Social Justice within this community of individuals.
Social Justice is more than a noble concept. The elements that make social justice the ideal it is carry with them a purpose and means for individuals to reach their potential. A potential that empowers them to contribute to society as well as be granted their due. Social Justice is a cause that strives to achieve social inclusion, participation (encouraging self-determination) and equal opportunities to access needed resources.
Not only are the Social Justice principles common sense they are morally important for society and an imperative for any person who is privileged to serve within the community sector. I count myself blessed to work alongside those not able to advocate for equality and a fair go themselves. To be working with people who struggle with substance dependence allows me to carry into my work one of the Bible’s more important verses in terms of social justice:
You shall love your neighbour as yourself
(Leveticus Chapter 19, Verse 18).
The verse shows that it is not only an ethical choice to provide advocacy on behalf of the oppressed but a Divine imperative that shows an understanding that everyone deserves equal treatment.
And now for the last and by no means least letter in the journey. Z is for zeal. Zeal is variously described as:
- the strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something
- eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something
- often understood as a devotion to God
- enthusiasm, fervour
- great energy or enthusiasm, typically in favour of a person or cause
- enthusiastic, dedication
- tireless diligence
It is quite a list. One that describes a driving force that propels those with zeal to stir the pot and make change happen. Social Justice has many interpretations depending to which conversation one is privy; my take is reflected in this month’s postings. No matter which discourse prevails I cannot be immobilised by small-mindedness that believes “just one person can’t make a difference”.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands,
one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
To one person I can be that change; to one person I can advocate; to that one person I can tarry long enough to help lift them from one level to the next. By helping one person each day I can grow a small community through the practice of advocacy while remembering the elements that make us champions of social inclusion through the practice of social justice. When we show others how to get up each time life knocks us down we build resilience and resilience is what keeps us keeping on. One day, one person at a time.
In So What’s this Social Justice Thing these elements were deconstructed to set an understanding of what the month ahead may contain for visitors to QP. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey and seeing the world from my perspective through my Social Justice lens.