Love Is Inseparable From Justice

Article by ATD activist in Canada Frédéric Mailhot-Houde. The title, ‘Love Is Inseparable From Justice,’ is inspired by Take Justice To Heart, a speech by ATD founder Joseph Wresinski.

Poverty hinders our liberty

Frédéric Mailhot-Houde in front of his house in 2021.

It’s a weight imposed on us by external factors. Often through living conditions that are unjust, unsustainable and over which we have little control. The individual carries the weight on their back and this becomes like a prison that is more and more difficult to escape. Setting oneself free from this stagnation, getting oneself out of poverty, doesn’t only depend on us – a favourable social context must be created. Holding on is essential, but there are numerous obstacles, which sometimes seem insurmountable.

Wanting to free oneself is a first step. The path is often difficult, but following it encourages a collective liberty and gives value to our efforts. These efforts are not always well recognised. Also, they don’t always produce the desired effect. Very often, getting out of poverty seems impossible to us, as the obstacles and problems multiply. Therefore, you should not blame yourself if it’s difficult; it’s not your fault.

Sharing is our greatest asset

Living together and in solidarity is what saves us! Sharing with society, with others, is vital. Sharing in all its forms is our greatest asset, and makes existence, love and justice possible. A generous society spreads, stimulates and nurtures self-sacrifice. This is qualitative and delightful. It’s through this giving of oneself that we best reveal ourselves to one another. In this way, sharing vital goods equally and according to each person’s needs becomes second nature.

Redistributing is a profoundly constructive and liberating act. In sharing, we multiply infinitely. We should not have to beg for, much less depend on, charity.

Solidarity binds us together. It is human first and foremost, and allows us to create an upright world based on a fair and healthy foundation. Helping one another lets everyone be themselves and reveal all they are and the full scope of their talents. In the end, it is the heart that has the most value. The important thing is that every human can live to their full potential in conscience and soul, with the same opportunities.

Pooling resources

Solidarity reinforces solid and long-lasting connections. The pooling of resources is the cornerstone of every fair society.

Every human being should be able to have complete liberty to obtain for themselves what they need for their well-being and in order to flourish. No one should have to feel the embarrassment and the shame of having to ask for what is indispensable and necessary. Destitution is an unacceptable fate for anyone.

Being at the service of life

To gather together all our strength in service of life is to give our existence a human and socially engaged dimension. It is in joining together with purpose that we find the paths of peace.

We are social creatures. We should never keep anyone in a state of exclusion or servitude. Justice and peace embrace one another.

When we are able to bring together inclusion, solidarity and social justice, in the name of the people themselves, a transcendent and inclusive love appears and drives human life to its highest level of accomplishment. This brings about union and a strong connection among us. Love is inseparable from justice.

Creating the conditions so all people can get out of poverty should not be considered a kind of utopia, but a primary, visceral and vital undertaking for all involved. This should be the primary objective for any self-respecting government that wants to be of service to the population.

More ATD’s work in Canada

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