Neither liberty or justice can be pulled out of the air or handed to us by those in authority. These are aspects of the elemental substance of reality and they depend on our actions.
It is through personal responsibility that we find the personal freedom to act on the principles of justice. There can be no liberty without responsibility.
As we saw in the previous blog, personal liberty can be asserted even in the most terrible circumstances. In a troubled world this is important to understand. If we are to keep our balance when the ground is shifting under our feet, how can we best prepare ourselves?
We must do more than prepare materially for hard times, although that is important, too.
How can we find the moral and mental strength to persevere? How can we take a long view in the midst of chaos – to gain a sense of ultimate purpose and a vision of the future we can believe in?
If we seek an even temper and a steady hand when the world around us is coming unhinged, I believe it will be with a firm understanding of the ground on which we stand. And, I believe the ground of human reality is defined and governed by justice,
I know it is difficult to see justice in the midst of the present disarray. So, let’s think for a moment about the world we were given, the real world – before we messed it up.
It is my firm conviction that there is an integral order underlying all things, and it has the character of justice. This is the ultimate ground of the reality of things.
Stated briefly, justice can be understood as the ultimate balance manifested in the self-sustaining structure of things. Or, to put it in another way, justice is a dynamic framework upon which all things depend, and which remains unified and transcendent despite the disruptions caused by human activity.
We can learn to see this “original” reality with our own eyes (and not through the eyes of others), and to understand it for ourselves without being swayed by others.
Justice is the governing principle and inherent character of this truth. In my view, there is a reason to believe that this character is indestructible and will prevail in the end. And, it is what allows us to keep our balance in a disturbed world.
Whether this idea is viewed through religious or philosophical eyes, all of us can benefit by gaining confidence in the ground we stand on. It is reasonable, it is dependable, and it offers a stable basis for constructive action.
Everyone sees things differently and none of us can comprehend ultimate truth. Yet, the concept proposed here can be helpful in maintaining our composure, and in determining the right course of action in difficult circumstances.
Such an understanding can be the starting point for both thinking and action.
If we are to rebuild our communities and nation in a constructive and principled manner, it will be necessary to adjust with flexibility to the unexpected changes that come with crises.
America is staggering under the assaults of discord, divisiveness, and hostility. If this nation is worth saving, it is up to each of us as individuals – to reach out to those who are struggling with hardship, to rise above our differences and to unite with our neighbors to address our shared needs constructively.
Justice will come when we forge an indestructible unity with true American generosity of spirit. There will always be differences. It will be shared needs and common purpose that matter.
If we cannot win over a few with the invitation to selfless responsibility and mutual respect, leave them to themselves. Some will insist on learning the hard way. Join with those who are ready and get on with the work!
Understanding the ground of justice gives us confidence when exercising responsibility, building trustworthy relationships, and conducting our lives with integrity.
Justice furnishes the ordered condition in which we have the opportunity to bring ourselves into balance with the world of existence as it truly is – and as I believe it is meant to be.
Dear readers, I depend on your comments and constructive feedback. Please look for the next post on or about June 30.