Anger is good. It is often the catalyst and fuel needed for change. Even the Bible says, “In your anger do not sin” (Psalm 4:4), suggesting that it is not anger itself but some byproduct of it which is to be avoided. One might even go as far as to say you need anger at the centre of any social justice effort, lest you find yourself complicity maintaining the status quo.

Many of us are involved in some social change effort – be it through community service, academic pursuit, political initiative, business venture, or philanthropic gesture. Often, it was a disturbing encounter with injustice or inequity which drew us to this cause to begin with; whether we experienced it personally, witnessed it around us, or learned of it on a screen or in a book. For those of us who would aspire to a life dedicated to advocacy and activism, this feeling of distress and resentment can become all too familiar, and if we’re not careful, it can quickly become our default setting. After all, how is one to live happily as if the world were not filled with pain, evil and greed?

I believe there is a point where these feelings become counter-productive in the pursuit of a better world. What is the point of fighting the good fight if we begin to embody the very things we seek to redeem others from? Read the rest of this entry »



Sometimes you go through life smelling roses, tasting snowflakes – unbothered by the Big Questions. Other times you find yourself reflecting on the fundamentals of human nature. Go figure.

I blame Dr. Elaine Storkey. She recently gave a great talk at the Christianity and the Life of the Mind conference, where she challenged social scientists to interrogate their assumptions about human nature before they begin their analysis about human behaviour. Still fresh in my mind, I attended a seminar to hear about the work of Dr. Randall Hansen and his new book on global governance and migration.

He began by explaining that he saw states as ‘rational actors’ which were ‘self interested’ and ‘profit maximizing’. (I thought only undergraduate political science textbooks talked like that!?) While his talk was very interesting, I found myself unsettled by where it ended. Read the rest of this entry »