The topic of corruption has been a big topic in our news, both at home and abroad. Evidently it appears in many forms, in our governments abusing power and authority to further individual member's goals and in our businesses, when workers aren't paid their fair wages. Even in our churches, sports clubs and volunteer organisations we've heard of shocking abuses of power uncovered by the royal commission into child sexual abuse. I cannot help but feel a wide range of emotions when I hear yet another story, anger, sadness, shock and outrage. But apathy is the feeling I find most disturbing.
Calloused to the pain
With so many tales of people in places of power oppressing or benefiting unjustly from their positions it can often leave me calloused. I'm tired of these injustices! Where can I find the vitality to hold the rage I should feel?
I think the obvious answer here is not to take on such heavy topics alone. It's always those moments in which I feel isolated where these stories are the hardest to feel. Talking about stories of injustice is often a good start I find. At least you're raising awareness and some affirmation for caring. I like to hear what other people have to say and the events which they think deserve more attention too.
But what about doing? How will I go about trying to fix another problem in the world? I think I ask myself this every time I mention just talking about things. It certainly is an important question but it so easily leaves me drained, but this is where communication enters again. As a single person, I have little hope to change the world. As one of many there is a strength, a resilience from a social structure.
And why would we stand alone when behind the face we put to corruption stands a social construct which permitted or supported the corruption? If I am to make a difference it will be with the support of others. I do not want to support leaders who twist the world into something convenient for themselves. I want to see the bad of this world made good, I want to see justice.
Oh for justice
While I don't expect to see this fully realised until Christ returns to judge the earth, I do draw hope from a future perfect judgement (as strange a concept as that can sound). God hears the cries of the oppressed and although we may not see the full justice we desire, it will come eventually. So while I wish to replace animosity with peace and oppression with equality it is in knowledge that it will never be fully realised until the appointed time. In Christ we see a champion of the oppressed and a paragon of mercy, which I find inspirational, but the role of judge we are yet to fully see.
I can't claim to do so in anything approaching perfection, but I endeavour to stand against the suffering inflicted by people. Such acts are a corruption of what might have once been good. I think it's important that we stand with people who illuminate abuses of power. I think we need a social strength so as not to be overpowered by groups of people who want to keep corrupt acts hidden. With God in my corner, I can always have hope. With that hope I think there will be people to stand with, to protect vulnerable people, even when those people are ourselves.
Sam Gillespie is a composer, programmer and PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales.Sam Gillespie's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sam-gillespie.html