Why February 20th? In November of 2007 the United Nations unanimously adopted a resolution that starting in 2009 (don’t ask me what they had against 2008, I haven’t a clue) February 20th would be observed as World Day of Social Justice. Making a stance of this size on this particular day makes sense.
As I read through the UN declaration, one of the things that struck me was the distinction between upholding the principles of social justice and advancing social justice. I see the value in both. It doesn’t matter so much WHAT you do but THAT you do. Whether my words here are viewed as upholding or advancing doesn’t matter to me. The fact that I, that 1000 of us, put our words together in this way and on this day and as this group does. A lot.
When I was very little the school day would start with us all standing, placing our hands over our hearts and pledging allegiance to the flag, a symbol of our great nation. The message I want to express today is a very basic one using some of those same words. The core of global compassion can be found in these final words of the Pledge of Allegiance:
“with liberty and justice for all”
I’ve written two posts that express my feelings about he issue of compassion. One I wrote after a school shooting. It’s called Every Day. When there are atrocities such as school shootings, a marathon bombing, actions that make us feel incapable of comprehension, we’re often left feeling at a loss for adequate words. Every Day is about how, at times where there are no words, who we are can speak for us. What we choose to do in our own homes, in our neighborhoods and in our communities not just in times of crisis but every day can bridge the gap and express compassion.
The other post is called I Apologize and I wrote it in my very first month of blogging. In it I talk about bullying: where I think it comes from, why I believe it continues and one simple step we can all take to impact it. I end with this quote by Eminem. I love the straightforward simplicity of this message:
The challenge, though, is to take it just one step further. I acknowledge that this is an admirable example of UPHOLDING social justice, but what would it take to ADVANCE it? One minor change in the thought process:
Recipe for Compassion
*Put a filter in a sieve and place the sieve over a bowl.
*Add thoughts, words, actions and mix well.
*Allow time for the impurities to collect in the sieve and the positivity to trickle down into the bowl.
*Remove and discard the filter of pollutants.
*Keep what's left in the bowl in a safe environment and allow compassion to rise until it’s doubled in size.
*Like a starter dough, keep a piece for yourself and pass the rest down to future generations.