Wednesday, November 13, 2013

In Justice

When injustice is committed, a sense of justice must be appeased.
"Peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of justice". Albert Einstein
Firstly, let's be clear here that I am not speaking of legal justice, or a justice system itself. I am speaking of injustice on a personal level. How we cope and struggle with it ourselves.

But what is this "justice"? Is it discipline or punishment, or both? Is it retribution or revenge? Exactly what brings an individual who's suffered injustice solace?

Is it punishment? Knowing that the individual who inflicted the injustice is themself made to suffer?
Is it discipline? Knowing the individual who inflicted the injustice has been taught the errors of their ways and has reformed?

Do these things truly bring us peace, or only hold up a mirror to our souls?

Is the desire for punishment indicative of the hatred in our hearts; a longing for revenge?
Could the goal of discipline be a sign of altruistic love and compassion?

Do we really want that choice within our hands? I think the nature of justice (disciplinary or punitive) can lie within the guilty party, if we allow it to, freeing ourselves of that burden. Not in the sense of abandoning our responsibilities, but questioning the guilty party's motives and intentions. Is it my place to question if there are demons to battle if they aren't mine? And if there are no demons to battle, my questioning creates my own.

Ultimately, the question is whether the individual who inflicts injustice is capable of escaping their own state of confusion (delusion) and begin to learn.

If not, then they remain in a state of delusion ('they're not guilty') and thus suffer ('punishment') - possibly feeling injustice has inflicted upon them.

If they can find a way out of their denial or delusion, then they have the potential for growth and have hopes to learn ('discipline').

In this scenario it is in the perpetrator's hands as to whether justice serves punishment or discipline, not the victim's. In this way we can be free of the burden of their guilt and their conflict.

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