Monday, January 14, 2013

A Journey With Injustice, Part III

Injustice is a funny thing. We care about it deeply when it affects us directly, but when it doesn't, we quietly accept it and go about our daily lives. We may feel a fleeting sense of pity or offer our expert advice on how to arrive at a solution to the issue, but we don't really care. Yet we must! I complained about my daughter's first week of school, but do you want to know what injustice really is?
  • Injustice is having to dig old newspapers out of a trash can to use as toilet paper.
  • Injustice is being raped as a toddler by someone who was told that is the way to "cure" HIV/AIDS.
  • Injustice is not being able to send your children to school because you can't afford the uniforms or school supplies.
  • Injustice is not being able to get a job because of your skin colour, not having any political representation, and carrying around the stigma of your forefathers' mistakes, forever being the "bad guy" just because of your ethnicity.
  • Injustice is being born into a country where you have no future because of your social class.
  • Injustice is being sold as a child and sent to work as a sex slave.
  • Injustice is being ten years old and being the head of your household, burdened with the responsibility of providing food, shelter and clothing for your younger siblings.
What my daughter endured is nothing to what millions of people around the world endure every day with no end in sight. I feel ashamed for being so self-centred and for complaining about so "small" a thing. Two ideas begin to emerge in my mind: the need to fight for others who suffer injustice as much as I would fight for my family, and the idea that how I teach my children to respond to injustice will profoundly affect their future.


wakeupcowboys said...

Good thinking. We're all learning something from this.

Stel said...

Good reading. I was wondering where you'll be going with this topic, after reading the first one. Growing up here, I went through the same (though not as harsh!) in gr 8, also in my first year in res at UP. At that I just smiled, and went with it, but it is true - what you can learn, the way you put it it. It is still not a nice practice, but to put it in context of what many other people go through, it can be used as a a great learning tool for oneself.