Welcome to the month of August!
Hope this month will be good to us all!
Since 2020 seems to have been adding twists and turns I decided to start a new series to address a few issues relating to young adults and just this current social climate we are living in. As we are all learning and trying to figure things out I asked a few people to collaborate and share their views on some topics!
I hope you enjoy the series and please feel free to comment your thoughts and check out the work of the amazing guest writers!
This week’s topic is on Social Justice
1. What is your current thought about the current situation of the world (Coronavirus, Rape Culture in Nigeria, Race Issues in the Western world & Police Brutality)
I think we are in strange times.
COVID-19: The coronavirus pandemic has changed our society in ways we don’t fully understand yet. It has also given individuals a compelling reason for proactive introspection. While human behaviours will slowly return to how it was before COVID, I expect that we will see policy changes/regulations on national and or municipal levels that will reflect lessons learned from the pandemic. Also, I think this is something my grandchildren will ask me about when they come visit in the summer after Grade 10.
Rape Culture In Nigeria: I can only imagine the physical and psychological damage that follows being violated in such a gruesome way. And it is disheartening to know that, in many cases, the rapists get away with it. Meanwhile, the lack of a strong support system for rape victims in Nigeria is a poignant reminder of how much still needs to be done. I hope that #JusticeForUwa will not just be another trendy hashtag; I hope that it will be the beginning of a change. I believe that a proactive effort to identify and prosecute rapists is a step in the right direction. Beyond that though, and perhaps more importantly, a strong network of support for rape victims is necessary.
Race Issues & Police Brutality: I happen to believe that there are good people on either side of the aisle. There are bad cops; and, dare I say it, there are good cops. And many racists don’t wear a police badge. In my naive opinion, it will be unfair to liken every police in America to Derek Chauvin. That said, I believe that reforms can and should be done to address policies in policing that target minorities. More importantly, though, I believe if there’s an effort to address racism in the greater society, the results will be amplified. Having said that, I agree with Denzel Washington in saying that love cannot be legislated. People must choose to love and this is where we need God big time.
2. What was your first reaction to these issues even as they are brought to the public forefront at this time?
Like many people, I thought COVID-19 would never show up in Canada. So you can imagine my shock when they told me I could no longer go to my evening boxing class at Panther Gym. Lessons learned: injustice (of a pandemic) anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
With regard to the rape culture and racism parts, I believe those events served as catalysts for conversations that should have happened earlier. Hopefully, beyond the momentary burst of frustrations, we finally do see lasting changes. It was definitely interesting to see COVID finally play second fiddle to something.
3. How has your faith as a Christian shaped your response?
This is a good question! I actually was forced to sit down and think about what a Christian response looks like. If Jesus were in the here and now, what would he do differently? I came to the conclusion that a Christian response may take different forms as long as the springboard is love.
For example, love helps me empathize with Uwa and the many people she represents. Love helps me to smell the wounds of a hurting society divided by varying concentrations of C18H10N2O4 (melanin) . At the same time, love helps me see that Love (God) is the real solution we need.
4. What do you hope to see happen as a result of this social uproar?
When the dust settles, I hope we would be able to look back at right now and say, “that was the beginning of change”. I hope that when my grandchildren are writing their social studies essay they would not consider our generation noisemakers but change makers.
5. What are some actions you would encourage friends and colleagues to take, both the people that are affected and those that are not impacted directly?
Join the conversation! I will step on some toes here – if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. A good start is to educate yourself on these issues. You don’t have to be an expert but an effort to understand what’s happening will, among other things, help you empathize more effectively. By the way, empathy and pity are not the same things.
6. What words/verses/resources of hope, encouragement and impact can you share that might have helped you process your thoughts/emotions?
Matthew 6:10 says, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” If the will of God can be done on earth (i.e. me and you because we are earthen vessels), life on earth will be a lot more like heaven. In case you are not sure, that means no racism, no rape, no COVID.
Thank you Victor for sharing your thoughts and views!
Victor is a civil engineer by profession and when not working in engineering he is probably working on Alive for JESUS a website to inspire and equip people to be ambassadors of Jesus by sharing Christian content in the form of video and blogs. He also runs TheAlivePodcast which is a platform for conversation, vulnerability and depth where real life issues are shared from a biblical perspective.Alive for JESUS exists to inspire and equip people to be ambassadors of Jesus. To this end, I share Christian content (videos and blogs) to inspire young adults to be like Jesus in everyday life.
You can find all social media handles and more on the website at iamalive.ca