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Doctor of Peace’s Rules for Being Just

Let’s take a glance at the definition of justice once more:

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There will be a great need for us to be just in the coming weeks, months, and years.  We have heroes both real and imagined that have fought for justice and we need to model ourselves on their actions.

If you know me, you know that I adore Captain America.  He has always fought for what is just, what is right.  He doesn’t like bullies, and he could stand up to them all day.

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As a Doctor of Peace I have several rules for being just.

Stand up to bullies, all day every day.  If you see injustice you must speak out.  You must tell the bullies to stop.  You must stand in front of those being bullied and say “No, this is not ok.  Stop, now.”

Listen to others.  You do not have to agree, you do not have to respect their opinion.  But you cannot fight oppression or injustice without reflective listening. Reflective listening is a communication strategy involving two key steps: seeking to understand a speaker’s idea, then offering the idea back to the speaker, to confirm the idea has been understood correctly.

reflectiveEngage Others. Create intentional opportunities for members of your community to listen to the stories and experiences of people of ethnicities, languages, and cultures different from your own.

Bring what you’ve learned through reaching out and reflect on the hard questions. Gather with other representatives, including decision makers, in your community and ask the hard questions: Does the leadership of our institution reflect the diversity of those we serve? Are the many faces of the diverse body of our community represented in decision-making processes? How are we inviting and forming leaders? Who is missing around the table? In our worship together, and in activities of our community, do we cultivate welcome, hospitality, and participation for people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds? How do we invite our members to reflect about and understand racism? Privilege? The dignity of all people? Whose untold story do we need to listen to? Are we learning about these difficult issues? How are we currently working to change perspectives and address the causes of racism? (https://togoforth.org/2016/08/18/5-ways-you-can-cultivate-peace-and-work-for-racial-justice/)

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Act.  Get involved.  Donate to causes that support justice.  Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, etc.  Volunteer your time to these causes. Write your representatives when you witness injustice, call them.  Hound them until they listen and make the changes we need in this world.

Take Time for Self Care. If you are anything like me you are highly empathetic and that can be very draining and exhausting.  Take time to take care of yourself.  Read a book, go for a walk, listen to music that lifts you up, play with your pets or your kids, get coffee with friends, go see a movie. Do something that allows you to escape and refresh so that you do not burn out from all the injustice we are fighting.

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Make a Pledge.  Daily or weekly, pledge to do something to bring more justice to this world.  Make it an action, whether its a meditation or prayer for peace, volunteering time or money, or simply checking up on a member of your community who is fearful at this time.  Do something that brings action to our words.

My pledge this week:  I have a good friend who is terrified.  They were brought here by their parents at such an early age that they know nothing besides this nation.  They are afraid that they will lose everything that they have fought so hard to gain over the last few years.  My goal this week is to do something for them.  I can ask others in my community, what can we do?  How do we make sure this person, and their family remain safe? How do we let them know that we will fight for them.

What is your pledge for the week?  Leave your comments below or post them on the Facebook page.

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