This was in response to a conversation Hermes and I were having about life being unfair.
I quoted Death, saying: “TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE…”
He responded, saying:
I’m not sure I give a crap about justice. Justice is about making people feel better about misfortune by spreading it around equally.
No one ever became a good person because they were punished. That’s not how it works. Misdeed and punishment are often a downward spiral.
I got something way more useful for you than justice. It is this wisdom:
The cosmos is cold and inhospitable. We must light the hearth fires and welcome people in.
The cosmos is cruel. We must be kind. Our hands must be open to those who are in need.
The cosmos is unfeeling. We must see and hear one another’s suffering, and know that vengeance does not offset it, only bringing respite and joy to the afflicted.
Sentient life matters. It matters because it is unique. It is unique in its capability to be dynamic, to care, to feel empathy and compassion. If you become just like the cosmos, if you become cold, inhospitable, cruel and unfeeling, then you have missed the point of being sentient, of being alive.
That said: if you run into a douchebag who has missed the entire purpose of being a sentient creature, don’t tolerate said douchebag in a position of power.
If I may insert an aside here: if ever there was a time to sit the American zeitgeist down to have a talk with it, that time is now.
To clarify: a human should do this.