I don’t know about you, but injustice makes me MAD. In fact, right now I am sitting here writing this article with steam coming out of my ears, and I’ll explain why shortly.
I guess I’ve always been like this. When I see things that are unfair, I speak up. Sometimes it isn’t pretty, although I try, I really try, to keep using my indoor voice. Sometimes I get laughed at, but oh well. Years ago when I lost my Social Security card, I remember ordering a replacement online. But a couple of years ago when I tried because I lost it again, it was no longer possible. The website specifically said “your state doesn’t allow this.” So while I was in the Social Security office, I called my Congressman’s office to ask why. I figured the best way to kill time while waiting was to try to accomplish something. People sitting around me overheard and basically said “just wait in line like everyone else.” But I wasn’t asking to skeip the line. I just wanted to know WHY. Come to find out, it had something to do with the change in our State ID process. But I recently came across an article that said that Louisiana residents can now again order Social Security card replacements online. Did I put a bug in anyone’s ear? I don’t know. But it changed.
The fact is, things DO change, but only when we ask. Often we quietly give in, or do what is easiest, without asking if there is a better alternative.
One of my most recent battles involved our utility company. Because I entered my checking account number wrong for my first auto pay, the payment got kicked out. Now, to pay my bill, which was NOT late, I had to go to one of their “convenient” locations that charge processing fees (cash only and the lady at the store was pretty rude about it). I’m sorry, but since when do we have to pay fees to pay our bills, especially when it is cash? This mistake was basically my bad, but I’m thinking of people I know who live from pay check to pay check and will never be able to get ahead or save money because they have fees added to their method of paying their bills. Since this is a utility company, there is no choice. Either you pay it or you don’t have electricity. I was told flat out by 2 people that this is the policy and there is nothing I can do. That’s the wrong thing to say to me. There is always something. After speaking to several supervisors and waiting for another one to call me back, the utility company finally agreed to waive the fees. Someone finally looked into the issue and saw that it was only a typing error. I fought and won for myself, but I am still thinking of others who have to pay their bills in person and must pay a fee to do so. I did send an email to the Public Service Commission but did not receive a response.
This was not a huge issue, but it didn’t sit right with me so I did what I could do to try to change it. Albert Camus said “Either we fight injustice or we cooperate with it.” I’d rather be a fighter. Although, often I feel powerless, and it can be exhausting. Sometimes it is just easier to let things go. But if we want change, sometimes we have to make a stink.
If you feel powerless right now, don’t think of overcoming injustice as changing the entire world. You can start small. If you see something that isn’t right, point it out. If you see someone being bullied, take up for them. If you hear mean comments, ask the person to be kind. Don’t be silent. You may be capable of changing more than you will ever know. Keep up the good fight!