Just Be Just Campaign

JUST WHAT? What do you want me to do? What can I, an individual, a commoner possibly do? Deep down… in our hearts we secretly know where we are not doing enough, where we are letting ourselves and the rest of the world down. We turn a blind eye; we tune out ugly parts of reality — we want that kurta forget whether price is just; we buy wheat knowing that farmer harvesting crop is most likely under pressure of crushing debt by the massive food corporations they are contracted to.

What to do? The problem is too big and there is nothing I as an individual could do. That’s lazy thinking, easy scapegoating and sets up a false us-versus-them mentality.

Social Justice is about BEING AWARE of feelings, behaviors and words that create social barriers or distances between people. Don’t fall trap to there is nothing I can do. YOU CAN by showing up; not turning away from hard conversations and being mindful with those with whom we share space.

JUST EDUCATE. Oh I know this topic seems blah and you’re probably rolling your eyes thinking not this topic again. While its true that women are going to college and working in traditionally masculine fields and speaking in public. This is happening to a lesser degree in rural areas. Remote village areas all over Pakistan need more resources, facilities and public institutions.

It’s just education right? Think about how women in rural areas are missing out on opportunities because of the resistance to discuss the importance of education and its correlation to women empowerment in urban colleges. Brushing this topic off as a feminist ideology when patriarchal mindset is quite strongly rooted in villages and prevent girls and women from fully understanding/ questioning the world around them. Everyone has the right to education that helps express themselves and develop in whatever she wants to become — a doctor, a teacher, a chef, a designer.

JUST MOVE. How often are we stuck in rut, thinking oh man what now? Mentally, we list all things preventing us from doing what we really want to do. Okay, some of the stuff like financials, mobility (getting from one to another) do get in the way. But the biggest challenge to overcome is one’s personal willingness. Once you step out the mindset of ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘let me take a risk and try’. A world of opportunities open up. Yes, its nerve wrecking as hell… if you truly believe in yourself and in your dream. All you need to do is move. Take responsibility for both dreaming and reality-checking those dreams with action*. *

Maybe have a planning buddy/ family member on board to hash out the action plan with.

JUST WORK. Then what gets in the way of rural women working? Is it trust? Culturally unventured space? No go? Lack of exposure? Control? Power? It could be bits of all these things that create hurdles for women working rural areas.

Let us work towards opening hearts, minds and self to things that get in the way — concepts of gender, age, race ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. Work towards a community where these things can take a back seat and look at developing human capacity for a culture of peace.

JUST THINK. How often do we get stuck in the mindset of success/ failure – leaders/ followers – oppressor/oppressed – creative/ business – realist/ idealist? When really things are much blended than these hard binaries we have come to believe and act on. It’s time we visit our ‘blind spot’ that invisible dimension where our everyday social interactions take place. Practice integration of our attention and intention. Acknowledge that we don’t know everything and rumble with the limits of knowledge… to call out to our hidden prejudice. Redirect our attention to COLLECTIVE ACTION OF CO-CREATING NEW FUTURE OF LIVING that is opposite to the false world of binaries.

JUST FEAR. Whether its social justice or any other aspect of our personal or working life — fear of failure — freezes us and get in the way of our moving forward. Thoughts like…

“I’m not good enough” or
“I can’t do that what will people think?”
“Why bother speaking up when no one is even interested in what I have to say?”
“No way am I going to be honest about this. What if its used against me? Better keep quiet.”
“I don’t want to make mistake in front of my community and embarrass myself. Better to keep doing what I’m familiar with.”

It is this very fear that halts innovation, change and creativity to take place. Instead of being fearful of not being perfect… we should embrace our imperfect selves and practice healthy striving, empathy and self-compassion.

JUST PEOPLE. People are just people. No matter what religion, color, area, or social status we were born into. It has to do with how we meet one another with respect, humility and open heart.

Let us forgo this age-old way of sensing and seeing the world through prestige, status and influence. Engage in a deeper way of seeing with our hearts. Enable infrastructures that facilitate shared seeing and finding new modes of existing that disrupts unhealthy systems that alienates and creates us-versus-them structures.

JUST LAND. Land I walk on, sleep on and cultivate food on. Land is always there. So what will throwing a little wrapper here or there; or using coals for energy; or constantly drilling out oil or gas — really matter? The thing is on its own it probably doesn’t but things are much one interconnected. It is this interconnectivity and collective blind spot that leads “dynamic complexity,” this systematic distance or delay between cause & effect in space and time.

Yes, even the tiniest action has a ripple effect. Therefore, each one of us play role in affecting our land — the choice on how is up to us.

Let’s support local farmers, waste less, litter less… because the little things we do, do matter.

#JustBeJust Challenge

What does social justice look like? Held digital dialogue on social media and with Event/ Radio/ TV Host/ Social Worker Sophiya Anjam around the concept and meaning of social justice; #JustBeJust.