So . . . just what does that word mean?

For a number of years, I was (and always will be) always very curious about the statement which I saw on signs and bumper stickers, “If You Want Peace, Work for Justice.” Scratching my head over this statement, I had two problems: 1) unclear definitions of the terms (well, I kind of understood what the term, “peace” meant), and 2) the seeming disconnect between the two. So, since I needed more work on the term, “justice”, I looked at several dictionary sources for some academic –type definitions, but I still knew that something was missing. I would dare say that most folks in our society generally equate the word with retribution and revenge. However, as the Spirit would have it, I had the great fortune of hearing an expert on social justice teaching speak in my area several years ago, who explained this concept with a different angle. He stated that the Christian notion (and, I might add, that of all of the world’s great religions) of justice is “the ‘righting’ of relationships.” Well, a light came on for me at that point – a moment of greater clarity. That experience assisted me in understanding thishands-on-globe-diversity[1] shift from retributive to restorative justice. Unless all are treated fairly and with love, there can be no peace. When dealing with human beings of all stripes, I am aware that this can be challenging at times; yet I feel in my heart of hearts that this must be done. So, that is why I am blogging here with all of you: to be with fellow seekers and to challenge myself to get to the ever-deeper meaning of what it means to love and act justly.

One thought on “So . . . just what does that word mean?

  1. When I asked people what the word, empowerment means to them, a response that was generally made was that the goal of empowerment is to correct the injustices of the past. I guess that could mean restorative justice. But there is the other side of the coin. Being a victim of injustice keep fostering psychological suffering. People, who face the present and try to positively change it, set long-term goals and work with motivation. The belief that one can learn and grow from negative life experiences and the perception of having capacities to cope and control outcomes, are crucial aspects to focus on.


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