All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing.

(The above quote is attributed (perhaps spuriously) to the Irish politician and philosopher Edmund Burke.

Day Twelve in my Passions Profile Challenge and today I am looking at Social Justice and Social Injustice.

And it is a topic that I am deeply passionate about as I have in my life seen far too little of one and far too much of the other.

But perhaps I come at this in a different way or from a different perspective to some?  In fact in many ways I am not only concerned about social injustice but about any injustice.

Social injustice has been defined as “a concept relating to the claimed unfairness or injustice of a society in its divisions of rewards and burdens and other incidental inequalities1

As a mental health writer, mental health and all the injustices served on those of us who suffer from poor mental health, such as; a failure to hear or afford credibility to our voice, opinions and experiences, the stigma all too often attached to mental illness, the way that that media portrays and represents mental illness, etc., are of course a great concern to me.

But the truth is that there are just so many injustices happening in our world today that I would find it very hard to pick any one above another and indeed am I not more that just someone who suffers from mental health issues?

I am a Christian and there are so many awful injustices being inflicted on my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world which I could write about.  I am disabled and see how the disabled are often so unfairly treated.  I am a parent and see so much injustice being inflicted on the young. I am a citizen of the country I come from and the country I live in and see so many injustices happening there also.

I have, in the past, worked with addicts, runaways, mental health clients, teenage parents, single parent families and many other social groups and have seen injustices in how many if not all of them have been treated at one time or another.

So which one do I choose?  In deed would I by choosing one be doing an injustice to the others?

The truth is that wherever you have people you have human nature and wherever you have human nature you have the potential for both justice and injustice. ‘Utopia’ – no matter how appealing it may seem – simply doesn’t exist in our reality.

So what should we do therefore?  Simply accept things the way they are and not strive against injustice?  Blindly accept injustice as a fact of life?  Let’s go back to that original quote…

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men to do nothing.

No, I am convinced that we need to fight injustice whenever and wherever we encounter it and in fact to do even more than that.

I am convinced that actually we need to be teaching the whole concept of fairness and justice to our children and those in our care and to do so from the earliest age possible.

Let me share another well known quote with you…

Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future

It is I believe a JFK quote and is probably (along with numerous variations of it) extremely well known.

I agree with him and can see where he is coming from.  But let me offer an extension on this quote wich will perhaps afford another perspective on this…

Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.  But let us not forget that we, in many ways, shape both their present and their past and the very foundations on which they have to build upon.

How many of us as parents, are actively mindful of teaching our children about social injustice?  How many of us take time to introduce a good understanding and approach concerning justice and injustice and an awareness of social justice/injustice to our children?  I wonder how many of us simply place that in the ‘things to be learned at school’ column?

How many of our children actually hear us discussing these things, making comments about these things, getting upset when we see injustice – thus learning from our very approach what it means and how wrong social injustice is?

Should, in my opinion, the right approach to the whole subject of justice and injustice and social justice and injustice be taught to our children in their schools?  Absolutely it should.  But it should also be taught and learned and witnessed in their homes.  Because you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be experienced in their lives somewhere along the line.

Trust me, it tears at the very fabric of my happiness and steals a part of my joy when one of my children or their friends tells me how they are being bullied or mistreated for; not having the right designer label on their clothes,  the wrong kind of shoes, the wrong hair colour or skin colour, for looking slightly different to the rest, for having voices in their head, for having a twitch, or for being a young mom, or for being a Christian, or for…….

If we are truly going to fight Social Injustice I am convinced that we have to begin in both ourselves and our children.