Tag Archives: justice

Helping the World in Our Own Way

After watching the Malala video last night, I felt a strong desire to do something for the world.  She’s a great inspiration.  If you haven’t read that blog post yet, I strongly encourage you to do so now.

There are so many things we can do to improve the world.  Even little things can make a difference when it’s all added up.  I see it around me in Japan, such as entire communities getting together to clean up the streets (saw this yesterday). But there are so many more things that can be done.

At the moment, I’m unable to do much in Japan in the way of influencing policy or society.  I’m “just a guest” in this country, even though I’ve spent a quarter of my life here.  My opinion is not worth much at all, although this is my daughter’s home country.  What I can do is quite local.  I can reduce garbage, use less electricity and gas, and through my job, help many people improve their ability to speak English and give them a more global perspective on things.  You see, most people in Japan don’t know much about the world, and as such are prone to believe stereotypes.  There’s also an attitude of uniqueness here that people have, which I would like to break.  The longer I live here, the more I notice that people are just the same as anywhere else.  I want to show people that every place is unique in a way, but this does not mean they are the superior culture.

We’ll be moving to Canada in 2016.  That’s where I can make a bigger difference.  I want to get involved in the community, attend the occasional town hall meeting where public opinion is asked for, and even getting politically involved.  I will vote, definitely.  I also want to get involved in my children’s education, and help them realise that they too can work to improve the world around them.

I also want to do my share of helping online.  Through my blogs, I want to help educate people, give them another perspective on things, and encourage an interest in science and the world.  I also want to use my writing to make people think and also to entertain them.  Reading is a great way to relax and help the mind grow.

There are so many ways to help.  I found this blog, which is attempting to provide 1000 ways to improve the world.  It’s only on #67. What do you want to do to help?  What do you do already?

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Oh, the Injustice!

False accusations, inequality, bad customers, greedy corporations.  They all have something in common. They all involve people behaving badly and trying to get away with it.  They’re also things that make me angry.  Not just if they’re against me, but other people as well.  I hate seeing others abused and I have a great sense of satisfaction when they fight back and win.

This kind of story is pretty common in fiction.  I love seeing the oppressed get back at their oppressors.  I love seeing the bad cop get caught, the bully get beat up, and the abusers go to jail.  I love it when it happens in real life, but it’s also wonderful to see in a book.

But there are real life cases.  You can often find videos on YouTube by searching for “karma.”  Some are quite funny, but there’s a sense of satisfaction watching them.  Here’s a recent case involving sexism in Tokyo’s metropolitan government.  An assemblyman threw sexist comments at an assemblywoman and has since apologised.  Then there are people like Donald Trump who need to learn to be human and how to speak to people.  He’s just plain offensive.  And of course, governments need to learn to stop being greedy, childish idiots and actually work for the people.

Here are some things I hate hearing people say to me or others (it’s a list!):

  • I’m the customer, so I’m right! (No you aren’t)
  • Only men who are married are worth working with. (Paraphrased, sexist man-hater I worked with years ago)
  • You’re an atheist? You’re going to hell! You just hate everyone! (No, I don’t.  And as a Christian, you’re not supposed to judge.)
  • Oh, Daddy is being Mommy today. (No, Daddy is being Daddy, one of the two parents.)
  • We need the oil, so we’ll shut down this national park. (No, we need the plants and animals more.)

Just a handful of things there.  You see, as a customer, I want to treat staff well.  They have a tough job dealing with idiotic customers, so I want to make their job a bit easier.

I don’t make distinctions between men and women, married or single, in the workplace or anywhere else for that matter.  People are people.  Give them respect, they should give respect back.

I am an atheist, but that doesn’t mean I’m hateful and immoral.  Religious people aren’t necessarily moral, as many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion.  I’d prefer to treat everyone with respect until they disrespect me.

I am a father, and I have heard stories of good fathers being discriminated against because of the sexist idea that they aren’t good parents, that they can’t be loving or do things like a mother can.  And just because I’m taking care of my daughter a lot doesn’t mean I’m being some kind of superdad or have some kind of burden put on me.  It means I’m being a parent.

I would certainly say I’m an environmentalist.  I’m disgusted by companies who ignore the environment for the sake of profit.  That’s irresponsible, and those companies should be heavily penalised for the damage they do.  And not just companies.  Governments, too.  Can’t wait to say good-bye to Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

There are so many other examples of people that are merely irritating or completely awful to deal with.  Why do people behave like them?  It’s always wonderful to see the good guy win, whether in real life or in fiction.

What kind of people do you hate to see?