Life is an ongoing exercise in empathy. As a human being, your job should be constantly learning how to make your own way in this world while causing as little harm as possible. Which is why I'm ultimately baffled when people wonder aloud if they're supposed to look at everything critically and worry about its potential to harm others. Because yes, that is exactly what you are supposed to do.
The most revealing moment of Russell Brand's Newsnight interview is when Paxman asks what his revolution will be like. Brand begins his response: "Well I'll tell you what it won't be like." This response, which knows not what it wants and only what it doesn't want, is indicative of what I've come to think of as Che Activism.
The multiple tragedies faced by individuals living on the margins are further complicated by homelessness, which is in itself disempowering, painful, destructive, and unpredictable. It is in this pandemonium that there is little opportunity to reclaim personhood, control and clarity which is necessary to make healthier and richer decisions. They are barely recognized as persons let alone seen as having the capacity to make choice. There is so little our friends on the streets can take responsibility for nor are they even given many opportunities to claim responsibility.
I don't believe that acceptance means that I'm making excuses. Who are you to decide if my experience is an excuse? That's derailing and dehumanizing. When you present your fitspiration article and ask me, a fat person, why I don't look like you and what my excuse must be, you're asking a question that is none of your business. I get that it's supposed to be inspiring and make me think, but you have no idea what I do for myself and what I'm working on personally. I don't owe anyone explanations, excuses, or anything else. I only owe myself those things.
There has been much talk recently about the possibility of a safe injection clinic in Toronto. So our mayor -- surprise, surprise -- is against it. The provincial Liberals -- surprise, surprise -- have been ducking the issue. Since the feds are not on board, the Liberals have an excuse to sidestep rather than do the right thing and speak up (which would jeopardize their share of the redneck vote). Hey, Liberals will be Liberals. History will vindicate these efforts. History will condemn those who oppose these efforts. And, for the purpose of this article: history will not be kind to those who lag, stay on the fence, and do nothing. Toronto cannot afford to make that mistake.
Give 30 is an initiative established in 2012, tapping into Ramadan's lessons on social solidarity, to mobilize everyone -- regardless of faith or background -- to address the challenges of hunger in our society. Hunger in Canada is not an issue of food scarcity. Rather, it is directly related to income sufficiency and security.
On April 25, 2013, renowned scientist Dr. David Suzuki attended the WFCU Centre to empower the crowd with his Wake Up Canada call. It's a campaign organized by the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition to support a day of action, encouraging kids to advocate for their environmental future through the very media that overlooked them this time around.
Many queer activists rise above their circumstances and assert their voice for justice that is not limited to LGBT issues. Belonging to a vulnerable minority, they understand prejudice and can empathize with "others." Queer Muslim activists, despite facing immense prejudice, continue their work quietly and with dignity. Their work ends up helping the very Muslim communities that so strongly shun them. They truly know the meaning of spiritual chivalry, to practice good without expecting the same in return.
The Canadian Medical Association's 145th annual meeting is taking place this week. The mantra of the meeting is health equity, and Sir Michael Marmot, the white knight of social determinants, undoubtedly provides the human and scholarly element the issue of inequality deserves. There may be no better person to articulate Canada's barriers to better health outcomes.
In my opinion, the Israeli cost-of-living tent protests are not necessarily about the broadest reaches of social justice. They are confined to how Israelis want their own society to be ordered. And whatever the borders of the Jewish state, Israel must not sacrifice democracy on the altar of ethnicity.