Monday, February 29, 2016

Social Justice Forum

I'm back at work after another lot of family leave and it was lovely to be at Aitken College today helping to lead a Social Justice Forum with the JIM Unit. There were some incredibly special guests from Sri Lanka Unites who led us through some provocative Forum Theatre. I wanted to put the reflection I gave at the beginning of the day up here because I tend to lose things if I don't post them:

Every day we are asked to make decisions and to give our opinion
We must make subject choices 
We are asked to think about what we want to do
who we are going to be
how we are going to live
“Don’t doubt yourself” they say
“Be strong”
People tell us it is good to be sure.
To know what we think about issues.

But life is complex and changing
Issues are complicated
Does justice for some mean justice for all?
Do I have to know it all right now?
I know I am blessed, but sometimes I don’t feel that way.

What if
What if we invited more space for doubt in our lives?
What if we adopted a posture of doubt
What if we admitted we don’t need to know everything in this moment
That admitting we don’t know might be the best thing we ever did.
Because when we don’t know, we stop. 
We breathe. 
We ask questions. 
We start again. 
We look to our neighbour with curiosity. 
We start to humanise people and hear their individual stories.

“ will not be our blind faith but our humble doubt that shines a little light into the darkness of our lives and our world, and lets us raise our voice to whisper, or to shout, or to say simply: there must be another way.”

I feel really privileged to be with you today.
Today we will have time to step away from our busy lives
I invite you to take some time to doubt, to open your hearts and your minds.
I invite you to take time to breathe.
I invite you to remember that there are billions of individual stories in this world.
I invite you to take time to think about our own unique stories, and how our stories connect with a larger story.

A global story.

6 billion stories

Our stories are human stories
a tangled mess of contradictions
and understanding
of decisions made in every moment
to say yes
or to fight
to relinquish
or reclaim

in every moment
every breath
the choice made new
of how to live

and there’s nothing unusual about this
nothing extra-ordinary
- this is what it is
to be alive -

six billion stories
and counting,
every one.

(6 billion stories is by CherylLawrie

Let’s begin.