Here are my thoughts for UN World Day of Social Justice:
In a group therapy session a few months ago, the leader asked all of the members to introduce themselves and to include the thing(s) that were most to us. My "simple" answer was family, but my "more complicated" answer was social justice and equality. Life gets a little complicated when those two things collide. I have family members who are openly racist toward Muslims despite the fact that many of my friends practice Islam. I have other family members who think it's funny to make racist jokes about First Nations people despite the fact that I recently married a Syilx man. It's simple to disassociate with friends and delete contacts on facebook who feel the need to post hateful messages, but with family that's just not an option for me. So, I've decided what I need to do is take a lesson from the Quba Islamic Institute and come up with creative responses to hate. We are so quick to respond to hate with hate and it gets us nowhere. In fact, it moves us further away from any sort of conceivable utopia. Consider what the world would look like if acceptance was received on the sole fact that we are all human, if we could escape stereotypes and labels and put ourselves in the positions of others before we pass judgement.