What We Don't See [Video]

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Today's blog requires some participation.  First - do the awareness test below.  Second - read the rest of the blog!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahg6qcgoay4

How did you fare?  When I first did the test I missed the obvious.  Then, I missed it again when they replayed it - even knowing it was there!  I had to replay the entire video again!  Maybe that speaks to my poor observation skills, however, this video has got me thinking about the other things we miss in life due to our "inattention blindness" (a psychological fact!).  As the video says "it's easy to miss something you're not looking for".

As deacons we are called to relieve victims of injustice (and lead the congregation as a whole to do so as well).  However, what if we aren't "tuned in" to what injustice looks like.  What if we aren't even seeing marginalized people?  What if we have "inattention blindness" to the needs that exist in our church congregation?

How are you ensuring that "even the least of these" don't get missed?

Test Your Awareness: Do The Test

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I wonder if the way to make sure we see needs, is to stop always calling it injustice.  We probably don't see injustice because we do not see it as injustice.  We do not see our own actions as injust, nor the actions of others as unjust, yet there are needs.   For example, are victims of the tsunami considered to be victims of injustice?  Are victims of hurricane Isaac victims of injustice?    yet, they have needs.   Needs, yes, that's something we can see.

You're right - we don't always see things as injust - but perhaps we need to be challenged to!  There are systemic issues that perpetually keep people marginalized.  How can we better love and serve our refugee, aboriginal or immigrant friends?  What does it look like for us to stand with those who have disabilities, mental illness, are homeless or in a state of poverty?  It's important to see needs - but it's also important to see the injustice that creates the need.  And call a spade a spade (or injustice, injustice). :)

Yes, maybe we should see injustice where we don't see it now.  But how does speaking in generalities help?   Will you be more likely to help someone because they are unjustly treated than simply because they have a need?   Will you adopt an orphan quicker because they are unjustly an orphan, than because they are an orphan who has a need?   Will you adopt an orphan due to a tsunami less quickly than an orphan whose mother simply abandoned her?  Will you adopt a handicapped orphan quicker because no one else will, than a healthy whole child for whom adoptive parents are competing? 

If a person cannot get a job because they have no skills, is that unjust?  Do you then help them to get some skills, or just complain about injustice?  or try to create work for them?  or give them some food?   or ignore them because there is no injustice?  

In order to make sense of injustice, you need to be specific, don't you think?