This week, the Year 7s at Beaumont have been getting angry.
Their anger wasn’t towards Step (which was a relief because I wouldn’t fancy our chances against that lot). Their anger was towards the many injustices that exist in our world: poverty, disease, homelessness, pollution, inequality and racism, to name just a few that were mentioned by the students.
The lesson, called Faith in Action, aims to help students understand why a Christian person might be especially motivated by their faith to take action against injustice. The students also have a think about the injustices that bother them most, as different issues affect us in different ways - and none of us is expected to fix everything!
Year 7s may be some of the youngest people Step works with, but they already have great potential to change things for the better. To help them begin to think about the sort of imprint they’d like to leave on the world, each student drew the outline of their hand onto a piece of card and made a note of the injustices that anger them most. On the rest of the handprint, they wrote down ways that they might use their time, treasure and unique talents to make a difference to people affected by those injustices.
It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of everything that’s not right with the world. But it doesn’t matter if, like the Year 7s, we don’t yet know exactly how we can bring about change. Even the greatest change makers in history didn’t have a detailed 25-year plan when they first set out to make a difference. Greta Thunberg didn’t intend to become an internationally recognised climate activist, addressing parliaments and U.N. conferences and featuring on the cover of Time magazine as a ‘next generation leader’, when she first protested alone outside the Swedish parliament at the age of 15. She simply decided to use her time and skills to take action against an issue that she’s passionate about, one step at a time.
The important thing is for all of us to recognise that we have time, treasure and talent, and with them the power to have an incredible impact on the lives of other people.
Imagine if every young person became aware of that power. What would the future look like?