The pause that empowers

In the last few months of 2019, the world again generously offered a stage for protests and demonstrations on issues ranging from climate and economic inequality to a stagnating middle class and suppression of democracy. From protests in Lebanon and continuing unrest in Hong Kong to the “yellow vest” movement in France and the Extinction Rebellion, hardly an area of the world remains untouched. The common story? Something must change, even if what that is or how to go about it isn’t clear.

At the heart of these actions lies discontent—we feel powerless and threatened, and so we seek recognition and control. Yet even as the demonstrations raise awareness, a prevalence of protests is no guarantee of lasting change. So, what next? Once we become aware of an issue, what do we do about it?

In one of my first jobs, my human rights colleagues and I regularly staged protests in our city for one cause or another. Yet when asked what we hoped to achieve, our answers were often vague and overly lofty. In essence, what we wanted most was for others to awaken and begin to care, whether for the planet or each other. Our deep desire was to see individuals reach out and connect, with compassion and caring that would result in changing society. 

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Bible Lens
Bible Lens—January 6–12, 2020
January 6, 2020

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