top of page

My cry for justice

Here is my story.

When I heard the word justice, I used to feel opposition.

When I heard the word justice, I used to hear a voice begging to pick a side.

I quivered, bearing the question, "As I stand up for the one, will this be to the detriment of the other?"

I have always had a love for fair play.

Recently, we have had World Social Justice Day and in our country, South Africa, we had a public holiday for the remembering of Human Rights Day.

I searched in the hopes for a good quote that might acknowledge the relationship between social justice and human rights, to no avail. I did, however, find an article that acknowledges “human rights as one pillar of social justice, a “just” society is impossible within the absence of security for all human rights.” (Source :

If we are to search the meaning of social justice, we discover that it is the call for equality. It really seems ideal, until we begin to apply it and find the conflict to be uncomfortably real.

I grew up on the peripheries in many ways, witnessing family dynamics and actions taken within communities, and whilst this is not a position I would have wilfully chosen, I have learnt to, over time, grow into the position and embrace this narrative, that I may learn from it.

Life often felt like a good game of ping pong....right, wrong, right, wrong, right....may I just add that at this point, one might become exceptionally tired and burnt out.

It may be helpful to consider, that while rightfully providing the space for the unjust to be heard, we may often set a possibility to silence the other if we aren't living conscious of our co-existence . Perhaps this is some of what Thomas Merton beautifully describes when he says, “Silence isn’t broken by speech, but by the anxiety to be heard”

History shows us, in diverse contexts, how the fight for fairness can become an injustice in itself. In families, communities and countries, particular observations and action towards what is just becomes a fight against the ‘other.’

Are we still living from a place of learnt behaviour that may not be helpful in the way we share the world?

I acknowledge that this is where conflict begins. Conflict is not always the problem, but the unconscious action taken when it is present.

In a pendulum that swings, how can we find rest?

The cry for justice hurts.

Is this because it touches our humanity at the depth of our soulful knowing that we can't pick a ‘side’ without choosing to be against another one of our kind?

What are the commonalities that might allow justice its rightful place, without sides?

Do we need a space that offers and welcomes others to their opinion by way of listening in love and not hate?

May I propose that this speaks of compassion, and compassion invites care for community, invites vulnerability and embraces inclusivity.

May I further propose that this touches our very own humanity?

We cannot always agree, but we can seek ways to understand.

As we take a moment – perhaps one in silence - to acknowledge each perspective in a world where this feels rare, perhaps we can find ourselves settling into the words of our dear mystic, Rumi, who shares,

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field, I'll meet you there."


Recent Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page