Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
Of course… I’m just paraphrasing. The phrase does vary some. It all depends on which version YOU read, what language you speak, what continent you’re from… even the AGE of the ancient text from the religion that you believe, because ALL of them teach the same guiding principle: No one is without fault.
I WANT to believe I am without fault. As I retrace the steps in MY life, I’ve tried to end friendships and relationships on EVEN TERMS. I know I still owe a few hundred dollars to a handful of people. Literally… TENS of dollars! Amounts so insignificant, if paths were to cross today they’d be brought up more in jest than in demand. Or at least… I hope.
Perspectives are individual and personal. MY view of the world is different than ANOTHER person’s, and so-on for each one of us. We live our lives according to the law as it is lived in OUR lives. Not in perfection, not in isolation, but definitely in evolution. As we accept new ideas and new people into our lives, our views CHANGE, and we see things in a new light. It reshapes the lens through which we view ourselves.
Knowledge and understanding of the views of others EXPANDS Justice, it does not CHANGE it. It expands our definition of what is “right”. It can also make us reconsider what it is we define as “wrong”.
On the Eve of Equality, I find myself taking stock of MY deeds and MY actions. When I think back 20 or 30 years, well… I was a teenager! As I consider my behavior as a young man, I cannot say I was a saint. But, I CAN say any offense I’ve committed against another has been confronted and settled, and understanding has been reached.
Any debt in that regard has been paid. Not simply in terms of Legal Justice… but also in terms of individual, personal understanding and Justice. I would not want crimes committed against me to go unaddressed, and I have attempted to live my life the SAME WAY.
I have always seen women as EQUALS. As a young man, I was unaware of the inequality faced by women. Now, looking back through this new lens, I hope everyone I’ve ever worked with truly felt respected and appreciated, and always felt judged based on their abilities… as that has always been my intent.
I see it as a sign of STRENGTH to examine yourself and to question your actions, and say ‘I’m sorry’ when it is required. It’s NOT a sign of weakness or deficiency. Once you learn what you’ve been doing is wrong, and you do NOT take corrective actions in your life… THAT is weak. You’re making a conscious decision to continue to do what is wrong. That is not the path of enlightenment. On an evolutionary timescale, that mindset is a dead-end.
Even though they are found on the same side of the equation, Vengeance should not be equated with Justice. We must endeavor to BALANCE the scales, and at the same time avoid turning a criminal into a victim… and vise-versa.
And, as always… with compassion.