..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Justice...revisited, and refined, perhaps a bit...

In an online discussion of the meaning (as opposed to definition) of Justice, I've been offered some interesting perspectives.

First of all, let me say that I think that 'Justice', while it has a number of distinct definitions, means very different things to different people. Consequently, any use of the word may be very subjectively applied and often can result in misunderstandings and confusion.

To me, 'justice' means rendering a balance to unnaturally unbalanced situations in conflict. (Broad, perhaps, but clear enough, I think.)

One perspective offered to me was "FAIR distribution of resources; EQUAL access to LAW & due process,& PROTECTION of vulnerable & disadvantaged."

Overall, I think the elements of our two understandings are fairly similar. Closer examination reveals some interesting things. Take "FAIR" for instance; it's relatively subjective and so difficult to adjudicate. That leaves a likelihood of disagreement in the final analysis. It also does not provide a basis for distribution, other than additional subjective premises. Taken alone, this qualifier would render justice as a very subjective measure. Not good enough, in my opinion.

EQUAL access is another broad stroke with little guidance as to the basis on which 'equality' is to be assessed. Access through equality of cost, or availability, quality, amount or location of service, and so on. Is it fair to provide access to those of means at the same level as those who have no resources? This is where 'justice' is invoked again, but what is deemed 'just' in these instances? Around and round we go.

PROTECTION is resource based, regardless of who requires it. One question that comes to mind, in particular when resources are extremely limited, would justice mean that they be equally distributed among the "deserving" and "undeserving", irrespective of their vulnerabilities or disadvantages? You can imagine for yourself, under what circumstances such choices have to be made, but how would one be guided to the 'just' one? Who then would challenge the 'justness' of such a choice, and would it still be universally judged to be 'just'? For me, inconclusive, at best.

In, you might say, a very limited, brief and somewhat superficial way, I've tried to look at this particular understanding of "Justice". However, I'm left with the same gnawing question of can I conclude that any clarity of the concept of "Justice" is afforded to me by this understanding of it. From the questions I've asked myself in the earlier paragraphs I'd say some, but not enough, not clear and precise enough, yet. I accept that it's enough for some and that's fine as long as it's clear that they consider it to be another concept of it, but not the only or best one.

For now, for me, the only clear concept of justice understood and applied by many, is the impartial rendition of adjudicated retribution to satisfy a pressing need for vengence to be exacted upon the guilty. (whew)
That doesn't mean it's the only one I'll likely acknowledge but it'll take some more discussion to make me fully understand any others. It's something that I need to comprehend fully so I can develop more empathy than I presently possess.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Justice...what is it, really?

The concept of Justice is vague to most. It seems to depend on the context in which it is sought, and the age of those seeking it. But, is "it" something that can be 'gotten', so to speak?

Recently, the call for Justice is being heard from several directions. The most immediate and high-profile case here would appear to be the Yatim incident. Daily, there appears to be more activity around this and involves a cross-section of people.

From what we see on news reports, the call sounds more like one of revenge than justice, and I say that because I think there can be no justice after the fact, only vengence. Justice would be the state of the circumstances within which all of this has happened, and is happening. At this point, it's beyond anyone's ability to create a just environment. If it were just, this could not happen in the first place.

No, people believe they seek justice, but in truth, they seek only various degrees of revenge. Revenge corrects nothing. Revenge soothes, somewhat, the fired emotions that follow such tragic events. The authorities have an impossible task on hand if they hope to render justice. The courts can only exact 'revenge' upon those who are guilty of ignoring the state of justice that we simply expect to exist. Even that is an impossibility, given the factors that make up individual perceptions of what constitutes justice. Essentially, to provide a perception of justice being 'applied', the secret is in exacting a carefully concocted mixture of revenge that satisfies the widest range of emotions being brought to bear on the situation at hand.

Only people can create a just environment, and it is people who disrupt that environment. A just environment can not be maintained, no way, no how, no question. We can't "get" or "render" justice; we can only disrupt "it". Most importantly, we must come to grips with the reality that we can not seek justice, after the fact, only revenge for the disruption of justice. Maybe then we'll also come to better understand ourselves and our baser instincts in how we deal with each other's difficulties.