Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I'm writing a script, so I've not been blogging. And now I feel guilty about that. So here's a post. I'm choosing "Justice" as the topic. Why yes, such a lighthearted concept, don't you think?

I think we all have basic values, and then we have one or two values that define us individually. For me, one of my defining values is Justice. Although I never dreamed about becoming a lawyer, it was a great choice once I thought of it, because having balance has always motivated me to action.

When I cry at plays, or movies, justice - or the imbalance of it - is usually a motivating reason. I cried at "Camelot" when King Arthur gave a speech at the end of how he wanted to create courts in order to establish a civilized society. Yes, I cried at his words - at the concept, though in a good way. For as imperfect as our court system is, it is where we go to settle disputes - not the streets, I hope, but to the courts. Or to the courts after the streets, if we weren't able to wait. To hear his speech - from the point of view of the origin - moved me.

I sobbed at "Man of La Mancha" (the older couple sitting next to me didn't want me to drive myself home, I was so emotional) - and at the injustices there - I didn't expect it, you see - I had never seen the musical, though I knew some of the songs - and remember, as a child, listening to my father sing about dreaming the impossible dream (as my mother accompanied him on the piano). But it's a dark play, and it took me down.

And then I could hardly keep myself together at "Of Mice and Men" - had to duck out the theater after it was over, so that nobody had to see how distraught I was. I had always been so angry with George for not getting it together better to keep Lennie out of harm's way, until a friend of mine scolded me for having such high expectations of the poor guy, who himself was hardly able to survive. And so, when I watched the play with her thoughts in mind, and I realized George was a victim too - my gosh, I couldn't stand it.

(As a youth, in a philosophy class, I wrote a paper once about Oedipus, blaming him for fulfilling his destiny of killing his father and marrying his mother. If he didn't want to do that, then shouldn't he have stopped killing men his father's age? and really - shouldn't he have thought twice before marrying a women who could have been his mother? After reading the paper, my professor said, "Aren't you being a little hard on Oedipus?" Maybe. Maybe I was a little hard on him...)

When I was on the board of our local Meals on Wheels, I went out once to serve the meals - only once, though. I was great at keeping my distance in the board room - looking at things analytically - knowing we were doing our small part to help out Spokane's poorest-of-the-poor seniors. But when I went door-to-door, all I wanted to do was fix everything - clean every apartment - take everyone to their medical appointments so they didn't have to struggle with the bus and their walkers... So I stayed in the board room after that - where I actually could be productive, and not just spinning my wheels (so to speak).

The thing is, for as much as I want justice for all, I can't really personally provide it for every single person. And even more than that - the world doesn't intend for one human being to achieve that. In fact, if you look beyond our justice "system" - the court system that is imperfect, and rarely effects justice because money does not heal all wounds - and look to karma instead - spiritual justice - where (the theory goes) the universe constantly seeks balance, and seeks to correct imbalance - then part of the equation is that individual people need to stand up for themselves sometimes, on their own, without additional help, so that the next time some injustice comes barreling on down upon them, they have some tools to use in the battle.

That doesn't mean I can't help sometimes - or at least cry, at the sight of unfairness - that must create some balancing too, don't you think? If we can see the injustice, recognize it, and mourn its existence...

I do think that's why the tearing down of teacher unions has been met with such public negativity. It's one thing to get the unions in balance. It's quite another to just destroy them. Where's the justice in that?

Okay. Well, I hope this makes sense. I typed fast - knew I couldn't let another week go by without a blog entry! And happy Justice Day to you. (Is there such a thing?)

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