A soft reckoning about love and justice

By Danielle Jung , July 4, 2020

Read time: 4 Mins

A soft reckoning about love and justice Image

My heart wants me to live my life to the fullest. I am a hopeless romantic after all. My brain wants me to save the world. To strive for the best. Some sick and twisted utopia. My soul knows I can’t save the world or anyone.

However, my soul knows that we can all save each other by truly, wholeheartedly loving ourselves. We’d give effortlessly. We’d love effortlessly. We’d empathise and help each other because we would know that it would benefit everyone. But when you try to do these things without showing yourself what it means first, it will always leave you slightly or very (it’s a fancy sliding scale) dissatisfied. It’s like going on a scavenger hunt without a list. And not just anyone’s list. It’s gotta be your list. BYOL, bring your own list.

Life is more than a paragraph though. And it’s not fair. We live in a world where there is a system designed to keep us from getting to know ourselves. We live in a world where certain marginalised groups of people are especially kept from gaining the opportunity to get to know themselves. To truly come in to their power and understand their worth. 

We live in a world where people are beaten down for their sexual orientation or gender. For the colour of their skin. We live in a world where our worthiness to live a fulfilling life is measured by our ability to perform for the white, cis, male agenda. Where our vulnerabilities make us targets.

I’ve always considered myself to be educated on social issues. I don’t think I was. I think I was angry. Out of fear, with a dash of superiority because I believed I was good. But I lacked depth. I was fair, I knew wrong from right, but it wasn’t until the last 2 months that I’ve actually understood that society was built on lies. And I’m still understanding. 

The Epstein documentary made me realise how there was a huge discrepancy in our justice systems. That there’s essentially no consequences for people who have enough money and power. How vulnerable our children are. I watched Disclosure and saw how our culture dehumanises trans people – especially Black trans people. The media is full of shit.

The Black Lives Matter protests and riots made me realise that we live in a society that instills a fear of and hatred for Black people and their culture, while appropriating it for selfish reasons. 

How capitalism plays favourites in the most vile way. How we are brainwashed to see the police and authority as innocent, benevolent saviours. How slavery never ended. The world exists on a bed of injustice and Black people are still paying for it. And in turn, we all pay for it by existing in such a world by making it go around. It goes around and around until we forget what justice meant in the first place. 

I believe privilege is not having to live in survival mode. And survival mode can mean a shitload of different things. It can be living from pay-check to pay-check, or in constant fear of losing your loved ones. Or your own life. Or feeling like you have no idea who you are, teetering between depression and reality. List goes on, down the hall, and out the door.

We all suffer in varying degrees in a world that values material possessions over human life. It is not a coincidence that certain groups of people suffer more than others. I’m careful to use the word more but my intention isn’t to compare, but to emphasise a trend in our history of systemic oppression. And as information becomes more accessible, we see that history is not something we can escape. The truth always comes out.

If the world didn’t exist – like if the physical realm didn’t exist. And we all lived on some spiritual plane only – I believe we would see that fear and doubt are being weaponised to affect our wellbeing. But the world does exist. In the physical realm, there are systems. There is marginalisation. Fear and doubt take on various forms and things can’t always be simplified to we are all humans.

If we bridge the worlds, we see that while we all struggle, we can also all do something by cultivating empathy and changing the world little by little. Sincerely, intentionally and through compassion. How that looks is up for all of us to decide. But the point is to try and start somewhere. Imagine a world, build upon it. Have conversations, build together. Incorporate curiosity and a desire to learn something new about the world in to everyday life.

I don’t believe we need more love. But I believe we need to make love accessible for everyone. Create more opportunities for people to feel things. Be human. Reconnect with their souls and hearts. An opportunity for everyone to ponder and define life for themselves.

Love isn’t anything flashy. Again, it’s up to everyone to define it for themselves. But in the middle of a million things happening at once, I believe it’s a sense of vulnerability that obliterates fear. Love inspires us to imagine a brighter future. And inspires us to make the changes necessary to bring that future to life.

Return to issues