I had initially intended to start writing this post with a definition of justice but then I halted and thought to myself, do I really need to formally define justice when even a kid defines what it is for himself? Though justice is universally known as doing what is “right” and punishing the “wrong” doers, this right and wrong seem to have evolved over the years per social class, per country, per religion, per race and the list goes on.
Due to such rules pertaining to the redefinition of right and wrong and hence justice, people tend to unconsciously redefine justice. This redefinition allows 10 year old kids to be detained in Palestine, it allows corrupt leaders to sell off the lands riches to foreigners, and it allows murderers to walk freely with a simple claim of insanity.
Our systems are reshaping us, reshaping our mentalities, reshaping our definitions of justice. It is due to this, that we can sleep soundly as we know at this moment children are deprived of their basic rights in Iraq, children live in constant horror in Palestine, children are infected with AIDS due to the carelessness of their parents, and children die of malaria due to the negligence of their governments…
Some leaders have redefined their terms of justice, this tends to reshape their followers definitions of justice until there comes a time when these followers decide it is their turn to define what is just and what isn’t and hence the deterioration of general law.
In the movie “Law Abiding Citizen” starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, Gerard’s character loses his wife and child due to being murdered and raped by two psychos. Of the two, only one commits the act, yet the guilty one had a deal with the court and was let go as the less guilty one was sentenced to death. Gerard then decides to kill every individual who allowed the death of his wife and child to go lightly.
Though Gerard’s character was extreme in rectifying the law, how can I blame him when it was the law that reshaped him into a murderer who thought murdering “unjust people” was right? In this case, tell me where justice lies: with the court who thought allowing a murderer to walk was the best solution at hand or with Gerard (a new murderer given birth to by the law) who wished to avenge his wife and kid strictly by the rules of the state?
We have unconsciously redefined justice even though its formal definition seems to be the same. We have been reshaped by our states, we have been taught to accept matters even though some of us try not to succumb to this system and this mentality.
What and where is Justice?