We often have very different senses of what is fair. And it goes deeper than we realize, penetrating right down to the unspoken. Sometimes, we even secretly think things like “this wasn’t as fun for me as it was for you, and that’s not fair,” and then act as though we deserve to be compensated–without even realizing it enough to say anything.
It’s perfectly natural to get thoughts like this. However, we are frequently so unaware of our need for justice (and how pressing a need it is) that we hold thoughts like these in, sometimes for years…or a lifetime. In a marriage or other family situation or at work, for example–it’s very often a hidden sense of lingering injustice that twists and strains relations for years.
This is why it’s vitally important to get in touch with your own sense of justice.
Remember, there is a difference between things that are just plain wrong and things that we see as unjust. Stuff that you perceive as unjust makes you angrier because you believe it can be helped; injustice is so because it is avoidable and should not be happening.
That’s why, for example, world hunger is not immediately thought of as a burning injustice… I’m not saying it isn’t wrong! It’s just that, once we file something wrong under “can’t do anything about that,” the sense of injustice around it disappears. It just…is so, and nothing can be done to stop it in the near future. So the fact that we got overcharged $25 somewhere actually feels more unjust than thousands of children dying every day from starvation.
Backwards? In a way, yeah. But it’s how our mind copes in a world so full of wrong everywhere. It’s part of what gives you the potential ability to rise above all the garbage out there. Remember, you didn’t ask for things to be like that.
Now, here’s the thing: once you realize this and get in touch with your sense of justice, you can much more clearly set parameters for what you will and won’t accept. You then become better able to explain where you stand in relation to others, where they stand with you, and most importantly, why.
Do you feel you are being cheated in your life somehow? Are there injustices that you put up with? In relationships with others? From yourself?
If it can be helped, ask yourself, “what can I do to change it?” Share with others that you trust and see if they have a fresh idea or two you could use. Write down what you come up with. Usually there is a lot you can do that you haven’t thought of yet…
And those times when you really can’t do anything, your mind will be at rest knowing you did what you could, and you’ll file it away as “just plain sucks,” and move on to other things that you can change. Like your state of mind.