8. Ask yourself what in the world today most breaks your heart and offends your sense of justice. Decide to help change that, and join with others who are committed to transforming that injustice.
Here is where I tend to go off track completely. I feel so overwhelmed by things that routinely occur that are unjust and heartbreaking I become embolized. Stuck. For example, why are some children receiving a good education and others a lesser education by the same systems of public institutions. We, as a society, relegate some children to not being educated based on demographics like race or nation of origin. Some members of society actually blame them, the kids for not doing better. But the problem is so systemic and massive that I feel stymied to effect change. And I see many of these students in my classes, unable to read, unable to communicate well verbally or at all in written format. And what they want is an education to provide them with a career with at least a living wage. Surely they are due at least that. I do my best for them, but what could I do to help them have those basic skills before they are in my classroom?
In my region there is an influx of Latino families, the children are entering school and learning English, and will benefit from becoming educated. But many of their parents remain Spanish only speakers trapped in positions that provide less than a living wage. I don’t need to be part of the argument that they may or may not be documented immigrants. How can the world I live in and am a part of take better care to ensure the world is “just” to them in terms of employment, language and places of worship.
Finally, last semester I had a young woman of the Islamic faith in my class. She was very quiet and tried to make herself small and unseen. She arrived early for class one day and was on her phone. She said, “no, I am okay my teacher is here.” When she was off the phone I asked if everything was alright and she explained that she had received some vulgar and threatening notes at school. She didn’t want to report it, but her family encouraged her not to be alone anyplace at school. I apologized for their being small minded people. Not much to do but educate them, but I could always allow her in the classroom early and lock the doors. She thanked me for that absurd kindness. (I later learned that she shared this story with two young Air Force men in the class who agreed to walk her to her care after class each day)
A. I am going to commit or continue my commitment to educating those in need to ensure they can receive a living wage.
B. I will work to improve the lives of new immigrants to my particular region, in relationship to worship, educational and employment opportunities.
What can you identify and do?