INJUSTICE / JUSTICE

Life isn’t fair. Unless I win!

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Only I control my thoughts. Which is why no one other than myself can truly imprison or enslave me. Circumstances might change, but who I am is not determined by circumstances.

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Equanimity in life when facing good or bad, justice or injustice, is true freedom.

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With no love there can be no justice.

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He who commits an atrocity against another suffers grievously for it. This is the indisputable and irrefutable law of the universe.

But this is not enough for man. When it comes to serving justice, we clearly know best.

The problem is that within our system of justice, justice – which is, essentially, evenness and fairness – is not the primary goal. It is all about punishment and retribution: inflicting pain on people; making them pay.

All of which does not undo what happened. Nothing can.

From the earliest age I learnt that ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. Why doesn’t the justice system follow this principle?

Why not put all judgment aside, and ask what would really best serve us here? Anger and vengeance? Or compassion and forgiveness?

Yes, but what about the victims?

And cannot the criminal make that very claim? That they have been victimised by society? That they were abused by their parents? That they were bullied at school?

Whatever happens in life, don’t be a victim. No matter how justified you feel in being a victim, don’t be a victim. There is nothing good or honourable in being a victim. Just pain and misery and endless suffering.

Which nothing – no sentence passed by a judge – can alleviate.

When I talk about compassion and forgiveness, I am saying, “Recognise that you are dealing with a human being. Not a ‘thug’, not a ‘lout’, not a ‘hooligan’. No, a human being.”

I am definitely not saying, “Let them off the hook”.

“Letting them off the hook” does a complete disservice to them and to everyone else. No, whatever they have done, they have to be responsible for. They cannot avoid the consequences of their actions. No one can.

What is required is to make them completely clear of what the consequences of their actions are.

Essentially, anyone who commits a crime is mentally unsound. Instead of punishing them, help them to right all their wrongs; help them to correct all they have made incorrect. How? By getting them to recognise that it is in their best interests to do so. That they will suffer grievously until they do so.

And, no matter how mentally unsound someone is, they will know, in their heart of hearts, that this is so. So, keep hammering away until they get it.

© Phillip A. Klein March 2008

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Published in: on March 16, 2008 at 10:55 pm  Leave a Comment