Date: Sep 20, 2019 By: Cailyn Schaffer

Taking Injustice Personally

To take injustice personally is having 6089 days until the damage to planet Earth is permanent. To take injustice personally is to know that this very number is your expiration date, setting a living timer on the slow pathway to your final destination of evolution. To take injustice personally is to attempt to reverse this timer, to take back all of the pollution created, to take back the endangerment of thousands of species and to take back the – ironically – irreversible change that we, as human beings, implemented on Mother Nature.

To take injustice personally is to observe that the louder I scream for justice, change and a way to save the planet, the louder they laugh at me, with an increasing amount of money in their hands and profit in their bank accounts – for I am a mere teenage girl.

To take injustice personally is to know that, because of this living timer, the generation that I am a part of, will never be able to teach their children that their words will be much stronger than their violence, brutality and force will ever have been.

We live in a world that is driven by the consumption of unnecessary goods and services, further influencing the development of society, civilization and industry. These components are active in the destruction of forests, the deaths of a numerous amount of species and the rapid disappearance of our fossil fuels.

To see the income and profit of those in power, at the expense of the planet, is an issue far removed from the truth of climate change. It being no more than an environmental issue – for it is a humanitarian, health, economic and just issue, that does indeed go hand in hand with the sustainability of our children’s future, much less our own. Continuing this war of the economy, against life on earth, promotes the further devastation and destruction of humanity’s resources. It will only worsen, as those who refuse to put down their weapons of war, further endanger those who plead for the mercy of a breath of fresh air, something that will be non-existent, once this inevitable timer counts the last second of our existence.

Many of the humans pillaging in this deep and broken system of a capitalist society, are unaware of the fate that awaits us. They are strung on the hopes of consumer goods and services and ransacking what God’s green Earth has given us. The solutions to a fit and functioning society, where Earth’s natural resources can be preserved for the generations to come, where species can flourish in the homes of their natural habitats, where the unjust treatment of people is lost and where the loss of land proves to be of very little threat or problem to us, can only be found once this standpoint of valuing green reams of paper more, than the green that stretches for acres and acres, is non-existent.

To take injustice personally is having 6089 days until the damage to planet Earth is permanent. To take injustice personally is to know that our very future is thinning and that the expiration date that we so obliviously ignore, is upon us unless we – as individuals, communities, towns, countries, continents, cultures, nations and the world united – do something to stop this.


Cailyn Schaffer is a student at Tafelberg School, Cape Town. She is the third-place winner of the 2019 Peter Beneson Writing competition.


This article was contributed by the winner of our Cape Town Chapter Peter Beneson Writing Competition for Schools. This blog entry does not necessarily represent the position or opinion of Amnesty International South Africa.