What in the world can I do?

Don’t be overwhelmed by social problems. Start with analysis.

By Santiago Cortés-Sjöberg

“When I read the paper and I see all the troubles going on,” Susana says, “I am really scared.”

Juan shrugs his shoulders. “They keep telling us we need to get involved,” he says. “But I can’t do anything. I am just one person, and the problems are too big.”

It is normal to feel that way, but that does not mean we cannot do anything for those in need. We can and as Christians, we should!

We must not only recognize the problems but also discover the causes of such unjust situations. It is only then that we can create lasting changes.

The young people who attended the World Youth Day in Toronto a couple of years ago were reminded that the causes of many injustices are due to the fact that the current world situation is affected by:

•    A lack of abuse of freedom and democracy: Human rights are not respected, individuals and entire peoples lack a voice even in their own countries, governments are influenced by the rich, politicians respond to special interests and not of those whom they represent. We are called to denounce such abuses and to promote real freedom and democracy.

•    An emphasis on money and economic systems: Profits are considered more important than people, workers are exploited, unjust salaries are being paid, the rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer, countries in need are ignored, natural resources are abused, and millions of people have no access to health care. We must name those injustices and promote human dignity and a just economy.

•    The exploitation of the media: Instead of informing people, the media are being used to manipulate people, news of social importance is pushed aside by more appealing and sensational reports, the rich and powerful control it, and entire sectors of society are not represented in their programming. It is our responsibility to give voice to those who lack it and to make the world aware of the many injustices that exist.

Jesus came proclaiming the reign of God and invited us to actively participate in it so that it might be fully realized. Christ calls us to work for peace and to create a new and just world.
How are we going to answer that call?

Your turn

Did you sometimes feel helpless?
Do you know someone who is working for justice, even if it’s only in a small way? Could you help?

Play this
A “parachutist” climbs onto a table. Trustingly, she closes her eyes and jumps, certain that the other players will prevent her from getting hurt.
What will you risk to help others and do what God wants of you?

¡Oye! 2006


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