An injustice is an injustice no matter where it occurs. The term generally refers to misuse, abuse, neglect, or malfeasance that is uncorrected or else sanctioned by a legal system. I think we all contribute to injustice, by not doing something or saying something about it. There are many injustices in the world. Our government is quick to point the finger at other countries but what about our own injustices.
There are communities in Canada where they cannot drink or use their water. It is not just one or two communities, it is hundreds. Many of them are First Nation communities. It is an injustice that these communities don’t have access to safe water.
There are hundreds of missing or murdered women in Canada whose disappearance or murder has not been solved. Women young and old who are mothers, daughters, sisters, friends…missing, and yet no justice is found for them. Many of the missing are First Nations women. It is an injustice that we let these women down, that we are not doing more to find them and bring their families peace. It is an injustice that we do not weep with their loved ones and comfort their sorrow. That we don’t do more to save them.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in youth. The number of First Nation youth who feel alone, desperate and resort to the devastating choice of suicide is far greater than any other community and yet we do little to help. Governments set up “committees” and and programs receive a bit of funding and we say that is all we can do. It is an injustice that any youth in Canada, should feel alone and hopeless enough to take their own lives.
We have youth resorting to lives of crime and violence because they do not have the support, role models and life skills needed to succeed. We build a society that causes stress for parents trying to pay bills, reduce debt and keep their heads above water, many living in poverty. Programs are cut or not enough time is invested and youth are left to find their own way, with low self esteem and poor coping techniques. It is an injustice to leave youth with no positive reinforcement, confidence and examples and then call them a bad seed when they get in trouble.
We have prisons full of people who made bad choices. Many because no one showed them any other way. A large number of inmates faced abusive childhoods or are dealing with mental health issues and fell through the cracks. No one in their lives ever built confidence or life skills and they are knocked down over and over again, without anyone ever helping pull them up. It is an injustice to not give people all the resources and emotional support they need to succeed and reach their potential.
There are patients in hospitals, long term care and other facilities that are not treated with the respect, compassion and care they deserve. Budget cuts or target treatment times are listed as the reason. Under staffing and over crowding are blamed but are just an excuse that is given for injustice. The vulnerable should be given dignity, respect, compassion and proper care. No matter who they are or where they are, no matter what the time or staff restraints, Anything less than compassion is an injustice. It doesn’t matter who the injustice is done to, whether you know them or not, an injustice is an injustice and it is within each of us to stand up and change the injustices of the world. We just need compassion to move us to action.