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Mark Williams

Reflections of Social Justice


If in Political Science, we talk about what drives mankind, in Social Justice we are
educated in what holds us back. Ableism, Sexism, and so many other diseases plague us as we,
the people try to define progress and move forward from the crimes of the past.
The world can be a sick and disturbing place. A few years back there was a civil
uprising in Zimbabwe and the regime committed mass genocide, killing other political parties.
Over a million human beings were killed. Though that is disturbing and sick in its self, the
disturbing part I want to recognize is: how little anyone in America knows about it. During
World War II, people were being slaughtered in concentration camps in Central and Eastern
Europe. Something not often spoken of in America is, how the Russian soldiers in their conquest
against the Germans would often slaughter and rape entire villages. Im condemning, not
condoning both of these situations. I want to state that no matter how often we teach or learn
about the injustices of the world, there is always more to learn that can cause us despair.
Millions of people suffer every day, lacking just simple things that hundreds take for
granted. Ignorance and apathy of the hundreds can steal the chance for comfort of thousands.
Some would say we should take from the hundred that have and give to the millions who dont.
I dont think that we should ever take from one person to give to another. To quote the ancient
parable, If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish youve
fed him and his family for a lifetime. Prosperity is taught not given.
The world can be a dark unhappy place but there is hope. As long as people exist free
enough to make choices and learn from them, there is hope. Hope is the belief that there is a
purpose to all. Hope is the knowledge that at the end of the day, or the year, or even our lives, we
have just as much chance to be in a better place as the next guy. Hope is the truth that capital is
not happiness. Joy can thrive in our hearts with just rays of sunlight, hope is an educated choice.
Choices are reflected in actions. The only way to combat the ignorance that leads to death and
destruction is to educate and to learn in return.
I believe that all human beings have certain Rights that should never be infringed upon. In short
these Rights are simply life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. All should live
without fear of death. Everyone deserves the Right to be left alone to make choices with the
materials they own or have been given. This should be without retribution for belief or personal
actions not regarding or affecting others. It is my belief that happiness can be achieved in making
positive choices that uplift and promote our well-being, but only typically as much as our actions
can build up others.
There is an old quote, Im not sure who said it first, but it goes, My right to swing my fist ends
just short of the tip of your nose. This quote sums up pretty thoroughly my above tirade.
Unfortunately, the world does not reflect this view. As stated above, in the past hundred years
alone millions have been killed, enslaved, imprisoned, discredited, tortured and otherwise

mishandled. This can be for reasons as benign as having a different skin color or even being born
to a certain family. Many have had Rights taken away solely for growing older. These crimes are
not just contained within the past but are actively ruining our present and have the potential to
infect our future. We can stop this.
I like to imagine a future where people without knowing each other can genuinely and selfishly
care about each others well-being. A future where men and women lift each other up and
encourage each other towards just being the best they can be. The only way this could become a
reality is if others shared this dream. However, there are people that dont share my dream and
this is okay. All I can hope to do is to teach through my example and my learning. Attitude is
infectious. As long as we persevere, positively in our choices, we can change the world to be
anyway we want it to be. Changing the world starts with changing ourselves. If we first
recognize the world is an imperfect place and that we are imperfect beings, we can start on the
way to recovery and rebuilding.