How to be the light in a world with so much darkness

Monday, February 20 is the World Day of Social Justice.

The annual day of observance was founded by the United Nations (UN) in 2007 and is a time to pause and consider how we can contribute to international efforts to eradicate global poverty, promote fair employment opportunities, advocate for gender equality, and push for social justice for all.

It’s also a day to stop and think about how we can all be a force of positivity in a world that’s facing crises on many fronts.

Here’s how you can be the light in a world with so much darkness…

Get passionate about the facts
Knowledge is power. That may be a cliche, but it doesn’t make it any less true. The first step to being a positive force in the world is to know the issues and find something that you’re passionate about. Watch the news, seek out documentaries in your area of interest and read widely.

Think local
Sometimes thinking about the world’s big problems can be overwhelming and freeze us into inaction. That’s why it’s important to think about what you can do in your local community. It could be as simple as helping a neighbour, speaking up when you hear someone talking unfairly to someone else or volunteering to help the disadvantaged in your area.

Build a network
There is no denying the power of the people when it comes to campaigning for social justice. Talk to your friends and family about the causes you care about, share relevant posts on your social media pages and even consider writing a blog to build an audience of like-minded people.

Put your money where your mouth is
That doesn’t just mean donating to charity. Also consider how your purchasing decisions affect the social issues you care about. For example, has that new piece of must-have clothing been manufactured in a sweatshop? If so, consider buying second hand or certified fair-trade items instead.

Get political
You don’t have to know a lot about politics or support just one party to get political. Start by writing to your local MP about your concerns. Whether you’re worried about unemployment rates in your area, want to see an end to domestic violence, are concerned about the lack of mental health support services, or want to strengthen the social safety net, the pen is mightier than the sword.

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