Social Justice – Trendy or Genuine?
Someone recently asked whether I thought social care and justice has become too trendy…Here’s my response:
There’s no doubt that a growing number of people today are becoming more aware of the world of social care and justice. With the exponential growth of non-profits in our culture and our direct access to global issues via the internet and other media, it has become more increasingly difficult to ignore or not be aware of the social injustices of our world. It’s not too uncommon to see people on social networking sites like myspace, facebook, and virb adopting “causes” to highlight and support.
I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that numerous celebrities in film, music, and sports are now becoming prominent advocates of many social concerns including poverty, hunger, war & peace, orphans, gang violence, HIV/AIDS, slavery, and clean water. Philanthropy is on the rise! Actually, I’m glad that more celebrities are participating…at least, some of them are using their influence for good.
In the virtual world, many are connecting with some of these causes only at the level of identifying that they believe in the work of these organizations. In a sense, it’s trendy activity disguised as compassion. I suppose this is better than inactivity. Right? Is it?… Maybe… Not sure… I’m just concerned that we could be creating a culture of distant compassion that believes that this kind of minimal, participatory act could somehow “change the world”. I wonder if this kind of “involvement” is jjjuuussst good enough for most to remove any sense of burden or guilt concerning the condition of the world relative to their own personal lives.
Don’t get me wrong. I really do think that it is important that people get to a place of awareness on these important issues. This is necessary. In addition, I do believe that many are genuinely concerned when confronted with the realities of our planet. It’s just unfortunate that many will “move on” to other things when given opportunity for participation by some of these great organizations and movements.
I think loving, caring, and advocating for people in this world is not an issue of nobility but family. Humanity is not a project nor a cause…it’s a collective identification of interrelated people who were created to care for one another. Christ modeled for us the importance of loving our neighbors as ourselves. Only in this kind of reciprocal activity of generosity will we experience a God-designed community of life on earth.
So, whatever your current motive for and level of participation, let’s move beyond our questions of whether this is trendy or not. First of all, who can really answer the question of motive? Secondarily, it might be more beneficial to all of humanity for us to move forward in mobilization because once were moving, some questions become obsolete (like the first one).
Just a few thoughts from someone seeking to be a catalyst for change…