Justice 5/15/2019: Don’t Stand by the Wayside
And you can also commit injustice by doing nothing. -Marcus Aurelius
Nothing is not an option for the just man.
Standing by the wayside saying your hands are clean of evil is not an option when an injustice is being done in your presence. To do nothing is to be complicit in the deed itself. Take hold of your courage and act, while it is in your power to do so.
Daniel was running for his life. Clear the fence and he would be free. But before he could get over, the Cobra Kai bullies caught up to him and pulled him back down. Imagine as Daniel took the beating, the old maintenance man sat in his room listening. Imagine him having the power to intervene but choosing not to. The movie would be one of tragedy, not a tale of an outsider finding a mentor and defying the odds and winning the All-City Karate Tournament. But Mr. Miyagi did not sit idly by in his apartment. He chose not to commit injustice by doing nothing, but rather to do the noble thing. He chose to stand up for justice.
I was nine years old when I first watched The Karate Kid. I remember cheering with the rest of the crowd when Daniel-san landed his crane kick. Some memories just don’t go away. It was a time when the bad guy wasn’t the hero to be idolized. No, the real hero was the one who overcame his fear and released himself from the shackles of victim-hood. And the other hero in The Karate Kid, maybe the real hero, was the one who did not stand on the sidelines but acted when the time came.
The Virtue of Justice
What does it mean to live a just life? If right thoughts and right actions equal righteousness, can we be righteous? Our hope is that others treat us with justice. This of course is no guarantee, but it does not change our responsibilities. It is our responsibility to be honest in our deeds and in our words, and that we treat others with justice.