I’m sure you’ve noticed: The news has been overwhelming lately.
Another mass shooting. Another hate crime. A rape survivor at Stanford. A singer shot dead at a concert. Brock Turner. 250,000 orphans at risk in Mali. Millions of Syrian refugees. Racial violence. Gangs. ISIS. 45 million people enslaved in our world today.
Here, in our state of immobilization, in the wake of grief, in fear of responsibility, we are numb. We wonder what our world has come to. We ask ourselves: Where is justice? Where is sanity? Where is God?
We are not responsible for the world’s suffering—we are only responsible for our own choices and actions. But we can no longer hide from the ways our judgments and choices contribute to the world’s suffering.
We did not pull the trigger at the mass shooting. We do not endorse violence. But we silently reinforce aggression and hatred through our actions and reactions, our fears and bigotry, our cultural values and skewed demands of masculinity.
We did not sexually assault an unconscious young woman in a back alley. We do not endorse rape. But we don’t fully understand it, either. We are not Brock Turner, but we know what it’s like to blame the party for our bad choices, or the alcohol for our violence and vulgarity—or whatever scapegoat we find most useful.
We may not buy women’s bodies or consume pornography or engage in sex tourism. We don’t endorse sexual exploitation—and therefore, we believe human trafficking is caused by THEM not US. But our greed simply takes another form. We drink coffee, eat chocolate and wear clothes made by slaves. We ignore the migrant and foreign workers in our communities who are building our infrastructure, serving us meals, laboring in our factories—and we try not to wonder if they’re being treated well and paid fairly, if they’re being paid at all.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published on RELEVANT. See the full version here>>