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Why Social Justice Work?

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ESTHER BlogThe question was asked of me, “Why do I involve myself doing justice work?” I think the beginning of my addressing systemic causes of injustices began when I found ESTHER – or was it ESTHER finding me? Even before ESTHER, values that formed me within led to my belief that my dignity can never be fully realized until the dignity of all including creation is respected and honored as well. Where did that come from? I wonder if it was not so much anything that I was taught but rather something that I caught.

Do you think my parents, both from the farm, and six siblings sharing our home with 27 foster children over the years might have had something to do with it? Do you think I might have caught something from my dad's gift of tears enabling me to understand the value of compassion and my mother's spirit of volunteerism? The Mexican migrant families I worked with during my college years showed me hard work and love of family. Then there were the warm welcomes from the poor in the Dominican Republic. They put up with my heady knowledge and showed me how in their poverty they could happily share with me their joys, struggles and experiences of extended families over a small cup of coffee. A little old lady living in her mud hut gifted me with an egg in a crumbled paper bag as I was leaving. I wonder what value I caught at that moment? I wonder what values were caught by my wife and me enabling us to make a major mid-life vocation change? Perhaps letting go with a bit of courage. There were so many different kinds of communities or  milestones of experiences throughout my life that enabled me to catch needed attitudes and values that all lead to doing justice work in our society.

At this moment ESTHER is that community of like-minded, passionate people who are showing me how that work is done. When working in that community, I find I do not need to know everything. ESTHER makes up for where I am lacking. But together we move towards a more just society.

—Gary Crevier, ESTHER Board President

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