Justice on a grand scale happens in small ways
Earlier this month, Sister Sharon Eubank said,
I believe the change we seek in ourselves and in the groups we belong to will come less by activism and more by actively trying every day to understand one another.
The President of Latter-day Saint Charities and First Counselor in the general presidency of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reminded us that we each have power, “in everyday moments, . . . to remove prejudice and build unity.”
Sunday night, United States Court of Appeals Judge Thomas Griffith, addressed the BYU Management Society about civic charity and the Constitutional Convention. Judge Griffith pointed out that the delegates to that convention lived together, ate dinner together, and were willing to compromise - before they knew the terms of the compromise - for the sake of the national unity they sought. Compromise, Judge Griffith said, isn’t giving up on principle; it’s reinforcing the commitment to the principle of unity. Neither side is seeking total victory but finding a reason to accommodate the needs and desires of others.
On Tuesday, Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith Youth Core, spoke at BYU about What it Means to be Educated. He started by sharing a realization he came to when he heard Nelson Mandela speak in 1999. Mandela said he would still be in prison on Robben Island but for people of many different faiths joining together to dismantle apartheid. The Struggle against apartheid, the efforts that led to Indian independence, and the Civil Rights movement in the United States in the 1960s were all successful in large part because people of different faiths and shared values joined together to tackle unjust systems.
Patel quoted the French philosopher Marcel Proust who said that true discovery happens when we develop new eyes, not when we view new landscapes. As we take time to learn what inspires people of other faiths, we can connect with them in community (especially in service) and build positive relationships.
As we take small steps to build unity, we can bring about justice on a grand scale.