Pathways of Resistance: Resilience, Potentiality and Power in the Pursuit of Justice
9 February 2022
Fighting for justice can be a long, arduous and daunting process with many people unaware of who to turn to, where to start, and what to expect. All of which can impact significantly, sometimes negatively, on those involved.
Aarif Abraham has written a personal article for St Ethelburga’s – Pathways of Resistance: Resilience, Potentiality and Power in the Pursuit of Justice – which delves into what might constitute inner and outer resilience when working to tackle injustices as well as what sustainable, practical and meaningful justice could look like.
The article stems from a retreat Aarif attended, organised by St Ethelburga’s and Be The Earth Foundation in October 2021, the theme of which was how people can deal with imminent, ongoing or inevitable (depending on your point of view) climate catastrophe.
In the article, Aarif highlights similarities between the climate crisis and situations of armed conflict, notably:
• both appear to be inevitable;
• both disproportionally impact the poorest and most vulnerable in our society;
• both leave individuals feeling like they have very little possibility of making a significant, positive, or lasting change to the situation.
Aarif points out that attempting to address situations of catastrophe or conflict without strategic and practical planning can have a detrimental effect on one’s wellbeing, but that paralytic inaction can do likewise. With this in mind, he suggests four practices which he believes could help people become more resilient while also acting to alleviate the underlying situations:
1. recognising the fluidity between idealism and pragmatism;
2. focusing on systems, structures and institutional re-design by engaging in democratic processes;
3. tackling the root causes of injustices rather than pre-occupation with symptoms; and
4. ultimately, cultivating “living well, beautifully and justly as all one thing”.