As we think about the world reopening after the Coronavirus pandemic, how could we envision a more just and equal world for everyone?
Before considering the world after the Coronavirus, I wanted to reflect on what the perfect, just and equal world might look like. The Bible describes the perfect, new creation in Revelation, as a world where God “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Rev. 21:4)
A just and equal world is envisaged in different ways by everyone. When I asked those around me how they would imagine it, as presented in the word cloud below, there were a variety of responses, but the key themes that were repeated were people being respected and treated for who they are, not how they are perceived to be.
Lockdown has impacted my perspective of injustice. Spending more time at home has led to me to use social media more, which has increased an awareness of injustices – the most prominent of which is racism. Following the murder of George Floyd, I have been deeply challenged on the treatment of People of colour both here in the U.K. and further afield. I am ashamed that it has taken me this long to accept and investigate my white privilege. Many more instances of inequality have been exposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, in every area of life.
For example, the Trussell Trust have seen an 89% increase of those in need of foodbanks during April, compared to the same period last year. Here is a visual representation of some of the injustices which have been highlighted to me and my community during the pandemic.
After the pandemic, I hope that more people will be aware of these injustices, leading to a movement of change. The lockdown period has made people realise that things cannot stay as they are. During this uncertain time, we have seen communities coming together to support each other, building bonds that I long to see continue when we start to go ‘back to normal’. My prayer is that as a society we will begin to treat others more fairly and speak out for those whose voices aren’t heard. Below is a representation of how I hope our world might look after the Coronavirus.
However, this new world cannot be created without us acting. We have to acknowledge our responsibility in creating change! Coming out of lockdown, there is a unique opportunity to make a difference. We need to respond. There are many ways we can do this, and the ideas below are not exhaustive., but it’s certainly a start.