Friday, April 13, 2012

J is for Justice

I'm sitting here, right now, watching an employee of Beaudry Landscaping wander up and down a very long and bare sidewalk blowing air at it from a gas-powered leaf blower, removing, now and then, I presume, the odd mote of dust. One thing is for sure: Humans will get the planet they deserve. Natural justice.

I was young. Maybe twelve. The two eldest boys decided how to divide us into teams for a neighborhood football game. They put all the best players on their team.

"That's not fair," I said.

"Well, kid, you need to learn that life isn't fair."

"Because of people like you?" I said. It was a rhetorical question.

Lawyer and poet Ed Wildman once wrote that the city streets were a safer place than courtrooms. Because on the street a man got what was coming to him. In the courtroom it was a crapshoot.

Fairness and justice are interesting concepts. They are human ideas and every bit as real as any other human ideas: Oz. Narnia. Santa Clause. Next-day delivery.

As ideas, fairness and justice make excellent ideals to pursue but they are useless as expectations. Fairness connotes equality; another lovely unattainable idea, while justice traffics in retribution and disincentive. Slippery concepts.

At the same altitude of the social stratosphere is harmony. Now there is a concept that is far clearer and measurable than fairness or justice, at least if you're a poet. Where I once stood in relation to harmony I have no recollection. At this moment I have no idea what you might read into that word. It would have been a great topic for H-Day had I thought of it. In essence, from this poet's view it is the pursuit of prosperity without harm to others. And as far as I know, there is no concept that I can not examine in real terms with regards to its capacity for and/or against harmony. The trick is to be able to break it down into its (potentially conflicting) components and to treat its network of cause and effect with due diligence.

Am I making any sense to you?

Let me get to the point.

Neither fairness or societal justice mean much to me any more. Nor does the law. I live and breathe the scales of harmony and the scales of natural justice. It is my undeniable living experience.

When my poetic journey; my search for truth, came together in a huge way, my life changed completely. Illusions vanished. Twenty societal illnesses went with them; some completely, some almost completely. The freedom and the peace that I feel everyday, to varying degrees, is perhaps beyond explanation; perhaps beyond belief. Either way, I decline to go on about it presently, but I had to bring it up because it is essential to this hard reality of natural justice. I am pretty much out of the societal game; the game of reputation. I am the only real judge of myself and there is no escaping judgement.

There are still sins I commit which are rarely recognized as sins by most people and certainly not against the law. And I pay for these sins every time. There is no impunity. I am witheld from the freedom and I am witheld from the peace at the times of these reckonings. That is natural justice and it is brutally efficient. It is an experience most people probably never consciously realize their entire life though I am sure we all experience it. It's like a man born in jail and never ever being lawful enough to earn parole. He is punished by being made to stay though he doesn't acknowledge the punishment because he doesn't know what he is missing.

We will pay the price But we will not count the cost.
- Neil Peart

Men are not punished for their sins but by them.
- Kin Hubbard (1868-1930)

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