Sunday, April 13, 2008

Compassion and Justice

A helpful thought picked up this week was that compassion and justice are complementary responses to human need: compassion is the personal response at an individual level and justice deals with the systemic and corporate issues that often create that need in the first place.

This is one of those insights that is so obvious that I must have heard it before, but somehow it comes with new force at the moment. I think it's something about the power of naming the relationship between these two vital aspects of mission.

I like the 'two sides of the same coin' imagery to describe this - you can't have one without the other. It also suggests a kind of interdependence that has important implications for the way we engage in mission: it requires a broad, holistic approach that simultaneously addresses both the symptoms and causes of poverty and social exclusion.

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