About a month or so ago, a dear friend invited my daughter and me to a premiere of Just Mercy. After watching the official trailer the night before, I was eager to see the story unfold on the screen. And did it ever!

It is imperative for everyone to see this movie. The story and narrative are powerful, and the film offers an intimate look into the state of our humanity. Before you read further, I must issue a disclaimer: I have no connection to this movie, except that I am a child of this universe, a citizen of this world, and I am speaking from that platform and my heart.

While I was aware of the warehousing of many of our human resources in this world, I was deeply moved to see how we, as humans, have managed to brand “otherness” to new levels—that we have found mechanisms to ensure that progress is always tainted with the exploitation of that otherness.

I have never been convinced that in spite of our advancements, we have truly improved the human condition and placed our atrocities to each other in the past. We could go down a list of crimes against humanity to check our progress, and we would find that our new high-tech sophisticated systems are run by well-coordinated but not well-meaning people. Humans still inflict suffering on each other. If we have any doubts about that, we can ask ourselves:

Did slavery stop?

Did religious persecution stop?

Did child pornography, sex trafficking stop?

Did war crimes stop?

Did economic deprivation stop?

Did abuse of land and natural resources stop?

Did colonialism stop?

Did resettlement of the “other” stop?

Did tyranny and power over others stop?

Did violence against women stop?

These are only the first ten situational offenses that come to mind. I am sure we can easily come up with ten more, and how is that possible? Shouldn’t this list be smaller? I have a lot of questions about why these crimes persist!

Year after year, we celebrate the dawning of a new year with new resolutions that are intended to improve the quality of our lives. And here we are—year 2020, and we are still faced with some of the same challenges that our great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, siblings, and children faced. We have built extravagant societies that often forget we are also spiritual beings. And we continue to deplete our access to this abundant world that the universe feels we deserve.

There are parts of these human stories that do not sit well with our souls because we cannot separate ourselves from the “other.” I know this to be true—that if we desire to have peace, love, harmony, abundance, health, and happiness, then we cannot wish less on others, even those who are of different persuasions, because the “other” is you and me!

I believe in the human capacity to do good. I believe in the empowerment of self and that if we can generate that inner power and goodness, we can overcome anything together. I believe it is imperative that we choose a cause to serve humanity in some capacity, and because there is power in numbers, we can effect change. Helplessness and hopelessness are not options!

This is a call to all those who feel that this human condition can be improved. That is the love of God, of Christ Jesus, of the Buddha, of Allah and of many cosmic beings of light who endow our experience with love. Let us bring forth, as part of our spiritual journey, growth, and healing, a deep love and mercy that touch the souls of the “other.” “Just Mercy,” my friends.

Mensimah Shabazz, PhD, is a transformational coach, teacher, and author guiding women, couples, and college students to reconnect with the root of their essential being. She reanimates each persons clarity and confidence through her unique blend of archetypal and indigenous wisdom and habit-breaking processes that empower each person to work through old patterns and conditioning, highlight character strengths, and bring peace and harmony into their lives. Mensimah intuitively guides clients to move from numbing status quo toward practices that generate inner clarity and renewed sense of wellness that aligns with their true nature.