the_sn0wygoose: (Default)
[personal profile] the_sn0wygoose
I had a conversation about Justice and Peace today....while getting my shoes shined.

This may sound like another opening line from a bad novel, such as "it was a dark and stormy night...", but sometimes the most meaningful conversations can happen quickly and deeply without much planning, media, and political agenda. That is the way it should be.

You see, I had meant to shine my shoes for a week; and given I had an important meeting that afternoon, I did not have the chance to shine them the night before. So I decided on a lark to go to a shoe shiner to have them professionally conditioned and polished. I was lucky I was the last customer before his break and he graciously accepted.

I sat in the chair, handed me the paper, and began to quickly clean and condition before dressing the heals, toes and applying a good polish. It was in the moment he asked a curious question:

"What do you think about the goings on in Ferguson?"

By this he meant, in 2014, the shooting of suspect African-American Micheal Brown by a Police Officer in Ferguson, Missouri, the ensuing riots, and response by Federal and State officials. I liked this to the conversation twenty years ago, "So, what do you think of all the Troubles (in Norther Ireland)?" which should be avoided. However, I could not avoid.

I looked him in the eye, and told him: "My hope is the Court considers the matter carefully so that Justice my truly happen. Then peace may occur." Consider this. In a Just Society, we have the rule of Law, we replace violence and discord with an agreed harmony. I have always held this to be true. It must be, lest we descend into might equals right. Even in the face of perceived in equality, even if the government steps in to assist, the Rule of Law and the Courts MUST be the arbiter of Justice in a equatable and peaceful society and not the government or the mob.

The shoe shiner touched on a simple concept, fairness or equality in the Law.

A fair concept, to be sure. But I remembered a quote attributed to the Roman Philosopher and Businessman, Seneca, which said, "What is Just is not always fair, and what is fair, is never Just!". I believe this soundly. If I were to be just fairly, I would never obtain justice. I would be most likely condemned, or as I told the Shoe Shiner, "need to pack my asbestos underwear".

It was the most agreeable discussion for me, and a very good shoe shine.
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September 2017


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