Thoughts Along the Path . . .

“It’s not fair” insisted the child at Foodland. I heard her clearly, though I was all the way down the other end of the aisle, her young voice protesting her mother’s refusal to buy a special treat. I don’t suppose she is different from most of us, with our own definition of what’s fair, what we think we deserve. Of course, as we grow older we learn the truth of the saying that “life isn’t fair” and we accept our disappointments despite the seeming injustice of it all.

I have been thinking about this in light of what I learned in March at the Unity Café (hosted by the local Baha’is). The three presenters discussed the meaning of the word “justice” from the perspective of indigenous peoples in Canada, recent immigrants, and impacts on all creatures and the environment. Perhaps we raised more questions than we provided answers. In doing so we hopefully stimulated thoughtful reflection and even inspired new actions.

To continue this exploration into the theme of justice, we have invited Sherna Deamer from San Rafael, California to discuss “justice” from a global perspective. Is there a universal definition of the word itself? Can we understand justice at a worldwide level, moving beyond our individual lives, beyond our local community, even beyond our country?

Sherna proposes to do exactly that, based on her many years managing projects for the Superior Court of California and her many other related experiences. An avid researcher, writer, lecturer and educator, she is now focusing on an initiative within the United Nations. More specifically: Goal 16 of the UN Agenda 2030. What is that? Even as I was about to look it up, Sherna offered this summary: "provide access to justice for all. That's access to justice for every man, woman and child in the world. What does that even mean? And what strategies are being used to attain it?”

The United Nations website offers this summary: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

What if I, you, anyone could help bring a common understanding of “justice” to the world, to Canada, to Ayr? Could we go beyond words to action? From knowledge to impact?

In the final Unity Café of the season, Sherna will explore these ideas. I’ve known her personally for 35 years, and I promise you that her enthusiasm will make this subject come alive. So please consider joining us at 7:30pm on Friday 14 May. For more information or to receive a link for the Zoom session, please send a message to unitycafe.ayr@gmail.com . All are welcome, and we look forward to knowing some of your own thoughts about this topic, too.

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Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer, May 2021

© Jaellayna Palmer 2021