Systemic Poverty. Abortion. LGBT. Racial discrimination. Modern slavery. Sex trafficking.
You might find yourself possessing strong feelings about one or more of these topics, and that's normal. In fact, I'd say it's abnormal to feel nothing about the social issues that plague our world. That's because we were created to be compassionate, to love, to be kind - but not just that. We were created to act, to speak. Otherwise, love, compassion, and kindness are but ideas. Our apathy; our silence; our inaction perpetuates the darkness.
There are times when the influential - governments, industry leaders, even spiritual leaders - refuse to broach controversial topics, out of a fear that masquerades as 'wisdom' or 'propriety'. The Irish parliamentarian Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” If we're not part of the solution, by our lack of action we become part of the problem.
"But I'm a nobody. How can my words or action do anything? The most I can do can't even change national policies or cultures in the slightest!" I'd say that's a good place to start. If you don't believe me, read the story of Moses in Exodus.
We all have a voice and a circle of influence - people we may directly or indirectly interact with - and that's all we need. Yes, some of us may be better-positioned to make a change, perhaps in the arenas of politics or education, or as heads of households. But simply with our voice, we all become leaders.
If each of us would decide today to be more than our ideas, to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8), to be a voice for the voiceless, broken, and lost... Well, imagine what the world around us would look like in a mere 10 years. I tell you, mountains will be moved.
Express your beliefs in conversations and social media - read up, agree, disagree, ask questions that make others think, be bold in sharing how you feel and what you think, even if the cost is high. Start in simple everyday interactions. If you can, speak up at forums, your workplaces and schools. Even the faintest whisper contributes to the overall voice of the people. Cast off fear; put on courage and love.
Are we being careless, in caring less for the state of our generation and the generations to come?
Ben Parker, uncle of Peter Parker (Spiderman), said the famous line: With great power comes great responsibility. If you have a voice, you already have a part to play. The onus is on each of us.
Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18:21). For which will you wield yours?
All that is at the heart of The Project J's new initiative, CHANGE Clothing.
Where people are unable or afraid to speak, or political correctness has silenced society, we seek to be a voice. We believe our designs will spark the difficult but necessary conversations that pertain to social justice, Christian beliefs, Scripture, and taboo topics.
We seek to provoke thought and challenge mindsets, starting with what we wear.
CHANGE Clothing's Facebook Store launches on 1 July 2017.
Our first series explores this question: What would iconic music tee designs look like if the world was seasoned with salt? Here's a preview of four designs that will appear on our t-shirts: