The letter came in the mail while I was on an overseas vacation over Christmas break. It was a summons from the county courthouse. My first thought was – oh my, I must have messed up really bad this time! As it turns out, all it was was a summons to be “on call” for Jury Duty over a period of three weeks. Well, this should be interesting, I thought. I had never done Jury Duty before – so, perhaps this was my turn to do my civic duty and learn a little bit about the Justice system and how it works.
As it turns out, I was called to report for Jury Duty for only one case in the entire three week period. Most of the day was spent waiting, with other potential jurors (about thirty of them), as the Justice system did its thing and the two sides tried to work things out without going to trial. I spent most of my time reading – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. My first time reading this cult classic – but that’s another story 🙂
Eventually, we were told to standby as the Judge and was going to come and speak to all of us. So, this very elegant, white-haired gentleman, came in the room accompanied by the bailiff (who was probably half his age) and spoke to us for five to ten minutes. He summarized that the case had been “settled” and that there would be no trial. So, as it turns out, our services would not be required after all. He went on to thank us for our service – for it was the Judge’s belief that if folks were not willing to serve as Jurists, the Justice system would not or could not function.
“It is the selflessness of those who are willing to serve that preserves the integrity of the Justice system” – Judge C.K.
If you have read this far, you are perhaps wondering – what does all of this have to do with #SpiritChat? Well, it does. I started researching this topic and found that there are two broad forms of Justice – divine and societal. Societal justice perhaps came into play because somewhere along the way, people stopped paying attention to divine justice.
“The Western notion of justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion or equity.” – Wikipedia
The above quote casts a wide net by using ethics, law, and even religion, as a basis for Justice. A lot of food for thought. So, what does justice look like to you? Do you believe that natural law supersedes the laws made by man? If so, what is the need for man-made laws? Are they there to “keep us safe” (in the words of the Judge)? Of course, if we include ethics and religion and morality in our line of questioning, the sky is the limit for discussion. And what about the three tenets of Justice – enforcement (by man or the divine), the “two sides of the story’, and, impartiality or fairness – how do they contribute to our sense of Justice? Can our spiritual practice and related growth change our view of Justice?
"Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override.” – John Rawls in A Theory of Justice
Well, I think I’ve said enough for now. As always, I invite join us in #SpiritChat on Sunday February 3rd at 9amET to discuss some of these questions, and share your views on “why Justice matters”. Thank you!
Questions asked during the live chat on Justice. Please use the link next to each question to respond, and add #SpiritChat to your response so the entire community can see your reply. Thank you! (You can respond in the comments below too, if you prefer. Thanks!).
Here we go. Q1. What does the word Justice mean to your heart and mind? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298069902827352066
Q2. Where does our sense of Justice develop from? Does it change over time? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298071744944680960
Q3. Do “children” have a different view of justice than “adults”? How so? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298073777756065792
Q4. “Life is not fair”. So, the search for Justice is futile. Agree or Disagree? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298075622406750209
Q5. What may we discover about ourSelf as we examine what is just or unjust? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298077505506643968
Q6. To use mercy or use strict justice – can our spirit help us decide? How? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298079109727268866
Q7. What is the connection in our spirit between faith and justice? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298080250565386241
Final Q8. How can we serve the cause(s) of Justice through our daily spiritual practice? #SpiritChat http://twitter.com/AjmaniK/status/298082109707407360