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Just July

Just July

Restoring Equilibrium, Peace & Wellbeing

Dear << Test First Name >>

Just July
True peace is not merely the absence of tension it is the presence of justice - Martin Luther King
Directing Festival of Peace Croydon has made me acutely aware of the relationship between peace and justice.  As Martin Luther King and so many others have taught us - to have a peaceful society we must seek justice and do what we can to support the creation of an inclusive, kind world for all.

Interdependent Inclusion
Justice grows out of recognition of ourselves in each other.
 That my liberty depends on you being free, too.  - President Obama

Simple daily acts of inclusion quickly restore a joyful sense of community - whether it's taking a moment to smile and chat to the person serving us on our daily shop or offering our seat to a person in need of it on the train.
On a larger scale, we can use whatever platforms or influence we have - whether that's via our work, friendship circles, networks or social media - to help include and give a voice to those who are routinely excluded.   It was very important to me that our programme at Festival of Peace Croydon included art work by young refugees and artists with learning disabilities and profiled the work of BAME artists.   If we have privilege, we must make every attempt to share and include others - by doing so we are enriched by the sharing of diverse experiences and perspectives on life - our circles widen, as do our hearts.

Love is Blind
Love is blindness
I don't want to see
Won't you wrap the night
Around me?
Oh my love
- U2 Love is Blindness

Taken from one of my favourites songs as a teen, these lyrics convey the longing for intense absorption in love.  During intensely amazing moments in life, we often close our eyes so we can really feel the love.  
On a more universal level, to find a deeper level of love, inclusion and connection with our fellow human beings we must practice blinding ourselves to the identity politics which constantly forge divisions between us.  My friends of colour tell me they prefer the new passport checks by machines because it results in less prejudice towards them from staff.  To really see, as Lady Justice knows, we have to blindfold our conditioned responses and learn to look more deeply. 

Sharing Our Wealth
A society that has more justice is a society that needs less charity
- Ralph Nader

Our human society across the world is build on centuries of systematic social injustice, hierarchy and inequality.  We live in a world where 8.6% of the global population own 85.6% of the global wealth.   It would only take a small redistribution of the worlds resources - less than 1% of the wealth of the world's richest countries and just a fraction of the military budget of the US or the UK - to end world poverty. 
A huge amount of social charity is needed to counterbalance the poverty, crime, displacement, illness and deprivation that results from the unequal sharing of global resources.  Here in the UK, it's more and more commonplace to read stories of people campaigning and crowdfunding to save their vital community services.  Everyday heroism is increasingly required to make sure that vulnerable members of society are treated with the care which follows when we acknowledge our shared humanity.

Restoring the Balance
When strangers start acting like neighbours... communities are reinvigorated - Ralph Nader
We may live within systems in which the scales are still unbalanced, but we can start the change by sharing the wealth of our hearts, our talents, our voices, our kindness, our listening, our passions, our friendship, our courage.  It's within our grasp and at the end of our fingertips to reach out and form the connections which build resilience and wellbeing.  We can tip the scales towards justice, towards love, towards a more peaceful harmonious world.

Wishing you a Just July

Twitter: @katierosewindow