It’s not fair

Most children – if not all – have a keenly developed sense of justice. They react vigorously, hotly, to any apprehension of unfairness, denouncing loudly the scheming villain in a fairy tale, or the greedy grab of the last cookie by a sibling, or the perceived despotism of a parent. When we grow up and our view of the world expands, we see injustice on a much wider scale, in society, in the workplace, in government, and in international affairs. And like the children we once were, we mentally put our hands on our hips and shout, “It’s not fair!”

Looking at the root of the word justice, we find that it is a very old concept that has not changed much through the centuries. At its core, the word ‘just’ means ‘true, proper, correct,’ and even ‘perfect, complete.’ A secondary meaning that often complicates the picture is the idea that injustice should be corrected by justice – not merely reversed but punished in order to somehow right the balance of the scales held by the blindfolded mythological figure. And yet we see cheats and tyrants and villains of every description apparently escaping any consequences for their actions. It is not surprising, then, if people look at the world around them and ask, “How does God, supposedly the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, allow so much unfairness?”

This attitude assumes, of course, that we know what justice really is – and as every parent will affirm, children claim to know fairness but without recognising the reasons behind the decisions that thwart their impulses and rule their lives. They look at life from their own point of view, and may decry the unfairness of their parents perhaps for years, until one day they themselves have children, and are coping with similar situations. Therefore, if we look at the chaotic world around us, and struggle to find God’s justice in it, we need to let go of our own limited understanding and try to see from the point of view of the Creator. In Gayan Boulas we find this saying : Before trying to know the justice of God, one must oneself become just. Surely only the most limited person would dare to make the claim to be just. To become just requires that we be ever reaching beyond a limited point of view, for that is the sense behind the symbolism of the blindfold, that one may see better when one is not blinded by any particular point of view.

To reach this way of seeing is very difficult. It is only possible when, in our inner journey, we at last surrender, letting go of our claims and leaving the entire field of consciousness to the Divine. In that moment we will be able to testify to the truth of this saying from Vadan Chalas : He who fights for justice in the affairs of this world, may fight forever, for he will never find it; justice is only manifest in the sum total of life.

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