Thursday, November 27, 2008

thoughts about justice

Justice is the fulfillment of obligation, that is, of the essential demand of one person from another. It is not giving them what they deserve. It is giving them what they need.

The concept of justice usually is thought of giving someone what he deserves, it’s almost black-or-white. And, its image is usually one who is blind-folded, not looking at other perspectives that may somehow lead to bias---but how would you measure properly if you refuse to see?

Justice to a human person is what his being a man demands by way of growth and unfolding towards maturity…like a child being provided of care, nourishment, education, social environment among others for him to grow and develop as a mature individual. Justice here, is not given in exact measures for all since each have different needs and conditions---hence, we give what others need, not our idea of what others deserve.

There was a story of two angels visiting a village. Both spent a night in a house of families of different values and background. The junior angel noticed that the senior angel repaired a small hole in the basement of the rich family. He noticed further that he allowed the carabao of the poor family to die. The junior angel saw this as foul and he cried ‘injustice!’. The senior angel after many days explained that the hole in the basement is a mark where the gold bars are hidden. The rich family would find it hard to find what they have hid in the first place…The dead carabao is an exchange. Angel of death came to take the poor man’s wife but the senior angel requested that he take the carabao instead. Here we see that things aren’t always what they seem, so is our concept of justice.

‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ would leave this world blind and ‘bungal’ . Though often used, this is not the expression of justice. If a man failed to see and respect others, obviously, he needs to learn it. Punishing him in any other manner that would not lead him to learn, recognize justice, living it and leading it to love, is a useless punishment. This is why most child psychologists would recommend talking to the child instead of just spanking him, for words may lead to comprehension and living fully.

Finally, one would agree that “love and justice are the same, for justice is love distributed” and that no one could ever be just unless he learns to love his fellowmen. It is our primary obligation to others…to affirm, to respect, to love and be just.

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