“Justice is what love looks like in public,” said American philosopher Cornel West.
Today is Zero Discrimination Day, an annual event celebrated on the 1st March, and launched in 2014 to engender people to promote equality before the law and throughout member countries of the UN.
At a time when many are feeling helpless in the face of world events, a day championing inclusion, peace and compassion can feel unachievable.
It can be comforting to remember that changing the world doesn’t occur with a single, grandiose gesture but in how we choose to exist, interact and learn within our communities. It’s in living our values. Here are three ways to show our love for fellow humans through action.
Use social media as a force for good
Some people post a black square to indicate that ‘black lives matter,’ or a rainbow to show support for LGBTQ+ rights. According to Weforum, every minute we collectively send more than 30 million messages on Facebook and over 350,000 tweets. Use your profile to raise funds for a charity, call out disreputable sources or ‘fake news,’ share information and articles designed to educate, and signpost tangible ways others can take action. Be part of the solution, rather than the ‘noise.’
Understand the power of policy
There’s a pervasive myth that success is an entirely individual endeavour, the culmination of ambition and fortitude, no matter the policies that make success improbable for millions. But social mobility is declining. In the UK for instance a government survey found that 79% of adults believe there is a large gap between different social classes.
Get involved in politics to help others have more chances in life. Many people working in public office are driven to make life better. Often they hear from well-funded lobbying groups more than their constituents. Write to your local representatives, attend events and rallies or join a school board, and you can shape policies and futures. Also, vote. Never skip a chance to vote.
Tell and share stories that champion our common humanity
A quote from someone interviewed for Humans of New York reads, “My worldview is this: 'At all times, people are doing one of two things. They're showing love. Or they're crying out for it.' Stories are powerful because they bolster empathy.
The worst atrocities and discriminatory laws begin with a process of dehumanizing.
Whether you decide to be authentic and vulnerable and share your own experiences or share others’ -especially those of underrepresented backgrounds – you are working towards ‘zero discrimination.’
As we have seen throughout history and are sadly seeing this week, there will be autocrats; people motivated by power and conquest. And there will be those motivated by integrity, caring, connection and curiosity. We are many. And we have more power at our fingertips than ever before.