August 2012



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Delphic Maximum #5: Be Overcome By Justice

How I read this: surrender to justice. This maximum to me is the first powerful and evocative one. I think of a tide surging over me and through me. It is capable drowning in it's depth, suddenness, and force but the water itself can also be the birthplace of life and beauty. I think of looking up into the night sky on a new moon with all of the cosmos around me and how that makes me humbled and awed. I am a small insignificant part of this beautiful vicious universe. Then I think of the idea of following justice to the fullest and it makes me feel like I'm part of this irrefutable truth—an undeniable common good that will exist beyond me and sustained merit. It's the awe of being larger and more lasting than the self as opposed to the awe of my tiny place. Both are true and divine.

My less poetic self knows that justice is a human concept and any “good” I do may be lasting but is limited to human and possibly godly perspective. The stars don't care. When I'm in a less self righteous state of mind, I'll also happily acknowledge that Truth with the capital T may not exist and something that is just for me might not be just for others. In attempting to give others justice, I may even be perpetuating the opposite.

Above all justice is hard to define in what it is, what it looks like, and in how best to create it in the world. How I can help champion justice or accept it in the case of wrong doing changes face and structure. That people deserve justice is irrefutable but what that looks like is a lot of wiggle room. I try to walk through my day with compassion and empathy. I like to think that if all of us stopped to consider or even to ask one another what we would think is fair and endeavored to provide it for one another, our world would look a great deal shinier. This seems to be against the grain of a lot of people, and I can't say I manage to be the change in the world I want to see every moment of every day, but I know what it looks like and I know I'm grateful when I receive it. Were justice a warrior and the world a battlefield, I'd surrender to justice in a heart beat and serve her in whatever manner she deems best.