Jun 06, 2022Justice: Leaving our comfort zone

Justice: Leaving our comfort zone

Kim Snodgrass One-minute read.   Resources

Love is something we do. Let us try our best to make our words and actions a witness to the world. The love that acts to make change, to end needless suffering is part of the love God has for all creation.

Through words of prayer:

God, help me leave my comfort zone for the sake of others, especially those who might be lonely, isolated, or feel left behind. Let the values I profess weave more tightly together a growing sense of justice and love for all.

Everyday life offers ample opportunities to move towards a more justice, merciful and loving world through education –

  • If your comfort zone (the things you do regularly that don’t make you uneasy) was a circle, taking just one step outside that boundary can expand your worldview. We gain a new perspective, and In turn awareness of day-to-day changes we can make – both physically and in our attitude, that help us lead an ethical and justice-oriented life. Expanding our comfort zone, we enter the learning zone, where we gain a new understanding. Those valuable experiences help us grow towards long-term goals such as wanting to be more compassionate.
  • Breaking a big goal (compassion, empathy) into smaller chunks builds momentum and the motivation to keep going. Once you achieve one portion of your goal, step it up, aim higher, and inch closer to your final goal. Aiming for smaller goals works.
  • While exploring alternative perspectives can be uncomfortable, it enables growth and insight by challenging entrenched beliefs.
  • Moving out of our comfort zone decreases a sense of myself vs “others”, self-isolation, and loneliness while steering us towards a sense of being in community with people in a different age group, who pray differently, vote differently, or are of a different color.

And action –

  • Read from a variety of book genres and authors
  • Diversify who you talk to; visit new places and welcome new experiences.
  • Reframe stress. There is actually such a thing as ‘positive stress’ that comes packed with energy when reframed as excitement. Positive stress can propel us out of our comfort zone.
  • Do everyday things differently. Take a different route to get somewhere – observe homes, people, situations, and conditions along the way. Leaving our comfort zone doesn’t mean recklessly throwing caution to the wind, but when you ask yourself what the worst-case scenario is and if you have a plan to deal with it, consider being okay with uncertainty.
  • Volunteer somewhere you’re unfamiliar with, take a leap of faith, and soak up the experience while also being useful. You’ll either succeed, learn from the experience, or both!
  • Share and access how you live out your values with someone you think will help hold you accountable for living them out.

Issues relating to social justice are an important topic included in Everything Holy packets. When we expand our understanding and take action we help to transform the world by showing justice, mercy, and walking humbly with our Lord.

Kim Snodgrass is Assistant to the Bishop for Christian Formation.

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