Aspirations of Justice

I have worked in a law office for almost two years now.  I have no preconceived notions of glory that will happen when I am a lawyer.  I know that clients will be needy and rarely ever grateful.  I know that clients will sometimes be their own worst enemy.  I know that even when they aren’t, there are plenty of other enemies out there wanting to pounce.  I know that you will go from being busy to having fifteen things that need to get done in the next fifteen minutes.

I know that you will never feel like you are caught up on your work, and you will always feel like you are forgetting to do something important.  I know that this work is exhausting, it is emotional draining, it is mental taxing, and some days it will break you.  But I also know that this work is important, because at its foundations is justice and fairness for all.  It is work that is worth aspiring to.

We as Americans tend to have an idealized idea of how our justice system works.  We like to think that we have the great leveler of justice right at our finger tips.  A place where the truth will also prevail and good will always win.  This is the courtroom of America that we put on a pedestal.  But I see a different courtroom.  I see a place where the innocent go to prison and the guilty go free.  I see a place where the victims are often victimized a second time by the justice system.

I see a broken justice system.

You may wonder why if I have lost so much faith in our justice system, why oh why am I so eager to jump in with the throws of attorneys and join it.  I will tell you why.  Because it breaks my heart to watch it happen, and I am sick of sitting on the sidelines.  I am sick of being the girl that complains about our justice system instead of being part of the solution.

I know that I can’t fix an entire broken system, but maybe if I can just fix it for one person, maybe that will be enough.  I know that truth and justice are unattainable aspirations, but that does not mean that we should aspire for them any less.  

My boss once told me that visibility brings change.   Meaning that if the common person in America knew what really went on behind closed doors, there is no way they would not demand change.

We fool ourselves into believing that we don’t have a voice, or that our voice doesn’t matter.  We don’t believe that we have any power to change anything at all.  Change will not come by us playing small.  Stop playing small.  Stop playing scared.  Stop pretending you voice doesn’t matter.  Stop sitting there telling yourself that this is just how life is, and stand up and demand change.  Get angry.  Get vocal.  Not in a way that we are fighting with against each other, but in a way that we are fighting with each other.  Demand visibility.  Demand change.  Because until we demand change, change will not come.   

Philly

Photo Credit: Lori Rensink

 

 

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I Never Meant to Become a Feminist

Because I never meant to become a feminist but I did anyway.

Because we have tried to silence women who stand up for themselves by turning feminism into a dirty word.

Because if I had a dollar for every time I was interrupted or overlooked then maybe I would earn equal wages.

Because I want to be able to walk to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon without being verbally harassed.

Because I don’t need your whistled stamp of approval to know that I am beautiful.

Because we live in a culture where the girl is “asking for it” but she doesn’t dare ask to be left alone.

Because it is my body, not yours, and that means I get to decide how it is treated.

Because it is better to put on lipstick and not let boys be mean to you.

Because it takes away the shame of never being enough and replaces it with pride in who you are.

Because my mother was sexually abused and no one did anything about it.

Because my sister in law was sexually abused and no one did anything about it.

Because my best friend was sexually abused and no one did anything about it.

Because one out of every four women are sexually abused and no one does anything about it.

Because I had to learn martial arts just to feel safe in my own skin.

Because enough is enough.

Because it breaks my heart but it is easier to just be angry.

Because I never meant to become a feminist, but I didn’t like the alternative.

feminisim

Photo Credit: French by Design

Being the Change

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” -Leo Tolstoy

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

If two illustrious social reformers such as Tolstoy and Gandhi both consider the foundation of social reform to be first reforming ourselves and you combine that with a section from possibly my favorite Bible passage:

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.” – Isaiah 58:6-7

The only logical conclusion we can draw from this is that we as humans are not meant to sit and do nothing while the world around us suffers. Too often people complain about the way the world is without ever having the intent on doing anything about it.  I am not saying that it is bad to talk about problems in the world, but there comes a point when we need to stop talking and starting acting.  Unfortunately it seems that many people do not make it past that point.

I had talked and thought about the issue of sex trafficking for a while before deciding to start Scribbles of Hope.  Random sidenote: I am still working up the courage to share as to why the issue of sex trafficking is so important to me.  Currently only one person knows (shout out to my girl Alicia for being one of the best listeners I know) and it is not something that I am ready to share with whoever happens to read my blog.  Please do not be offended that I have not told you as it is very personal and I am the type of person who easily shares those type of things.  However, I might be willing to tell it to you over a cup of coffee, especially if it looks like this:

That turned out to be a long side note, sorry about that.  Anyways as I was saying, I had cared about the issue of sex trafficking for a long time before I decided to do anything about it.  And I have learned that it is a lot easier to talk about change when are doing something more than just talking about change.  I have also learned that if you care about something as much as I care about the issue of sex trafficking, it will make you miserable to not be doing anything about it.  As I said, we were not made to watch the world suffer.

Taking it a step further, we can’t change the world if we ourselves do not walk the proverbial walk.  We can’t complain about the injustices in our society if we ourselves are part of the problem.  We can’t ignore the problems right under our noses, and we can’t be part of the problem by being self centered and hateful towards others.  I am not trying to lecture you, because these are things that I am guilty of as well.  But I want you to realize we can’t continue to complain about the world if we continue to ignore the suffering of our neighbor and look down at those less fortunate than us.  There is something to be said for wanting to make the world a better place.  Some people may think that believing you change the world is naive.  I disagree.  Yes it is naive to think one can change the whole world.  We need to first find our corner of the world we want to change.  For me it is women that have been tricked, used, abused, treated worse than livestock, and endured horrors worse than I can even imagine.  But for you it might be something completely different, and that is ok.  It is good actually, because if we all change our little corner then soon we will run out of corners.  So I urge you stand up for what we believe in, fight for something worth fighting for, and really fight for it.  I promise you it will be worth your time; who knows you might just change the world.