One of the things I love is science fiction. This week I read the trilogy by Ann Leckie, ‘Ancilliary Justice’, ‘Ancillary Sword’ and ‘Ancillary Mercy’. They are SF on a large-scale – space opera! They explore power, tyranny, justice, and what it means to be human when cloning is common and implants enable immediate communication and extra abilities. The protagonist is seeking justice but can only see how to take the next step. That is the moral of the story just commit to taking the next step to bring justice, mercy and treat everyone as human.
Sunday was the fifth birthday of my grandson so we have been watching a lot of kids TV. It is a different kind of fantasy. Some are basically adverts for toys. Others are educational – helping children learn colours, numbers etc. Some of the stories also carry morals about working together and helping those in need.
In ‘real life’ there are the same challenges to have the courage to take the next step to achieve justice. At the beginning of August there are the twin remembrances of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet today we have the same threats from the confrontation between the USA and North Korea. The extreme hot weather in so many parts of the globe shows that climate change is already happening. Our grandchildren will experience a world in which there are more droughts, more storms and more uncertainty about the future.
We need to find ways of changing attitudes of the majority so that policies will be introduced that limit carbon production and increase sustainable forms of producing energy. I drew inspiration from the witness of Lucretia Mott, who campaigned for both the end of slavery and women’s suffrage in the second half of the nineteenth century in the USA and beyond. Even other Quakers did not support her at first. But she persisted and worked with others to bring about justice for slaves and women,
The things that you and I can do may seem small, but if we take the next step we can make a difference. For me, having been challenged by the Riders for Equality and the Common Good, travelling over 360 miles to present a declaration to 10, Downing Street, that means using my bike more. Hearing the stories of hardship caused by the cuts funding and the effects of universal credit , it also means finding ways to volunteer to work with those in need.
What will it mean for you?