It’s Time to Reboot
I was recently talking with a friend of mine, Jose, about the importance of justice. Our conversation led to him telling me more about the journey he has had with justice; he began unpacking his story of how God has continued to mold his heart towards the idea of fighting injustice and being a voice for the voiceless.
In high school, Jose did service work in the slums of Sao Paulo, Brazil where God began tugging on his heart. To give you a clearer picture, Sao Paulo, Brazil is one of the most populated cities around the world. In the core of this city there are skyscrapers, expensive cars, and gigantic houses; however, on the outskirts of this beautiful, flashy city, there are people living in shacks, drinking filthy water, and hopelessly trying to survive.
Jose and the other students lived in these slums for two weeks. They first handedly experienced severe poverty, youth gang violence, interacted with the sick and dying and gained a better understanding of injustices within government systems. A few years later Jose went to Kolkata, India where he had similar experiences with poverty, people who were sick and dying and other forms of injustice.
Each time he traveled back to the United States he said he noticed more and more injustices happening around him: homelessness, human trafficking, poverty. However, eventually he became numb to these injustices that were surrounding him.
Jose said that when he visited Kolkata his sense of justice was “rebooted”. I began asking myself, how could my sense of justice be rebooted every day, in the city I am in, in the neighborhood I live in? I asked Jose what his definition of having a “rebooted” sense of justice is. He responded by saying, “It is to be a witness to injustice; and to be a witness you need to open your eyes and simply look around you.”
What has become numb to you? Is it the widower down the street who is trying to feed the mouths of her three children? The homeless man you see daily on the street corner who is only desiring to be treated with the dignity he deserves? What has become numb to you?
Jose says that treating a person justly is to, “treat [them] like a human being, with human dignity.” The world we live in is very similar to the core of Sao Paulo, Brazil: loud, flashy, rich, and enticing. What would it look like for you to enter the outskirts of your world, to allow your heart to melt with emotion and empathy instead of being numb? What would it look like for your sense of justice to be rebooted?