Friday, October 15, 2010

Giving Strength to Weakness

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.
-Howard Thurman

Oregon Coast
I’ll give you one easy example of how this is structured social injustice. 

President Clinton himself recently apologized publicly because it was during his administration that part of this structured social injustice destroyed the agricultural sector of Haiti so that Haiti could no longer grow the rice the people of Haiti needed for food.

This is what we mean by structured social injustice. It’s a way you organize society so that it works to the detriment of individuals or groups within the society. 

It’s our responsibility to try to reach out to that poor Lazarus at our gates -- the poor people of the world who are deprived of a full human life because we have structured the world in a way that takes it away from them. 

-Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Pursing Justice by Seeing Lazarus at Our Door   (NCR Online)

A specific result has not been the point. For me, it's been about what happened when I discovered the willingness in myself to see a homeless person instead of look past him. I can highly recommend it. In the long run, it might not change Chris' life much, but it's definitely changed mine.-Mark Olmstead, My Brother's Keeper   (The Huffington Post)

This year alone our government will spend $900 billion on aid to low-income families. If it can’t even measure poverty properly; how will it know how to most efficiently distribute our money, how will we ever make strides in combating economic deprivation in America? -Claire Lorentzen, The Poverty Measure: Why it's Outdated, Why it's Important  God's Politics blog (Sojourners)

The safety net, which assumes that individuals will find new jobs, was based on different economic assumptions and has done all that it can. Now millions of families desperately depend on the kindness of strangers – their elected officials in Washington. It is unreasonable to expect our government to extend unemployment benefits indefinitely. But how are we as a nation going to handle what might be millions of other Americans who soon may become “99ers,” and who may never find work again? -Father Larry Snyder, When the Kindness of Strangers is Not Enough Think and Act Anew blog (Catholic Charities)

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