Every person is unique. This is a basic principle on which we must agree, or you may as well stop reading this post right now.
There are many Cathy Scotts in the world, one I am aware of was even born on the same day as I was. Do I think for a minute that this means there are people exactly like me? Absolutely not! Even identical twins are not exactly the same despite sharing the exact same genetic coding!
Approximately half of all people are different from the other half based their gender. Some people differ by race, by age, by abilities or disabilities, by sexual preference, by ideology etc. The ways in which we differ are almost limitless. We have one important thing in common and that is our humanity. We are all humans! This being the case, why do we allow some differences to be demonized or belittled? What makes my differences ok, while those of others are not?
I love the pin pictured above! The minute it turned up in the syracuseculturalworkers.com catalog I ordered one. I believe strongly in justice for all. I have worked specifically with the LGBT population at my school, done walks to raise funds for the MS Society, supported indigenous rights through KAIROS activities, and work hard to speak in terms of gender equality at all times. I have also at one time or another worked on projects for other causes. One thing that always came to mind was that if my energy was split in this way I may not be of much use to any one cause. That is why I like the pin.
What I work for, and I believe that we all want, is justice and fairness for all. While there may be differences in the specifics of the discrimination or abuse that happens to different groups the overarching aim is the same. I don’t for a moment think that this means we can do away with all special interest groups and just have one big group for everyone, we know from experience that someones struggles would be put on the back burner or neglected all-together. We still need GSAs and MS Societies, women’s rights groups, and groups fighting against racial injustice; but groups like KAIROS and our new Humankind Be Both group at school which work on multiple if not all fronts are the best for me.
It is all too easy to come up with “anti-campaigns” and we have seen them. If we are anti something it implies an aggression of our own against another group. I am not anti-bullying, I am pro respect and kindness. Fighting for the rights of Palestinians is not being against the people of Israel.
So, whether you have one focus area or are more scattered like I am, find a way to fight for more justice, more kindness, and more equality in the world and we will indeed be in the Same Struggle, Different Differences!
9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
KAIROS – Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives kairoscanada.org
GSA – Gay/Straight Alliance mygsa.ca or egale.ca
LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered
MS – Multiple Sclerosis http://mssociety.ca/en/give/default.htm
Syracuse Cultural Workers – syracuseculturalworkers.com