Torn Between Reality and Hope: does Justice Exists?

Alejandro Betancourt
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu.
Photo by Kalea Morgan on Unsplash

“I am torn between reality and hope.” It’s a statement that many of us can relate to.

We are taught since we are little that good triumphs over evil. It’s not politically correct to be pessimistic and realistic in certain circumstances. Justice always prevails. Does it? If you are good, good things will happen to you. Bad things do not happen to good people. But sometimes, we need to recognize that there is no Santa Clause.

I am questioning if we are doing a disservice to society by masquerading reality; as some may know, I am a single parent of twins. As they grow up, I want them to root for the underdog and believe in possibilities, but whenever I see something unjust, my heart aches for those who have been wronged.

Justice is an abstract term that means different things to different people at other times in history. Justice has been exiled, imprisoned, or sentenced to die for challenging the status quo or speaking out against injustice. Are we doing a disservice by holding on blindly to hope even when it’s not reality? I am torn between wanting my children to be positive and hopeful while dealing with society as it currently exists. Sometimes, Justice doesn’t exist but instead gets replaced with revenge.

I’ve learned thru hardship that the world is governed in a specific way. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad; I’m not even sure whether I like it or not. However, the world, like your computer and car, has its own set of rules! When I say “world.” when it comes to big decisions, I refer to global politics and economics. There is an “elite,” and whether we like it or not, there are people in the world with a great deal of power who influence the rest of us. Sometimes with or without our knowledge. That famous one percent isn’t just a figure of speech. I am from a privileged family, and I can’t fully disconnect myself from this group I’m referring to. But it doesn’t imply I have to accept everything as is.

They are fighting against all odds.

I’m writing today about this because I care about seeing some close friends try to fight for what’s right. They are all optimistic, and most of them are courageous for standing up to one of our country’s most influential figures without getting much into the details of their story. Their 68-year-old mom has been incarcerated for one year now. She is accused of having murdered by omission this influential person’s brother. He died in a hospital bed, yet she is accused of his death. According to what I’ve read, in my opinion, it all boils down to a dispute for money. I am rooting for them as they battle against injustice. I hope the conclusion of their fight is positive, but my life experience suggests they may have chosen the wrong path. Am I pessimistic and not hopeful? Maybe, but sometimes you have to; so you can see other possibilities. The system works in a certain way. You can choose to go against that way and sometimes succeed, or you can choose to learn the ways of the system and arrive faster to the destination you want.

But we all see things in different lights. Justice is different for everyone. Justice has many layers, and some of them are more abstract than others.

I’m torn between reality and optimism because I believe society isn’t always objective. But then again, I think the universe is fair, so maybe it’s just an issue on my part?

Where should the line be drawn between optimism and naivety? Is it preferable to be hopeful and brave than realistic? What is the definition of realism? And what would Justice look like after that? Justice is a stale concept if it’s only based on the law. Justice has many layers, and, at least for me, one of its most important features would be to bring about positive action. Justice must be served, but it should never turn into revenge. Justice can’t stand alone; Justice is merely a concept that needs to be constantly nurtured by humanity’s positive traits, such as love and empathy, so Justice doesn’t get lost amidst the darkness of our inner selves.
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Justice and the Evolution of Moral Societies

Morality has always been the keystone of society. To be able to live in communities, moral codes are required. They are an inherent part of human nature. Morality guides us towards the right path by giving us a sense of what is right and wrong. Thus, morality has an essential role in how the world operates because it defines our behavior towards others and ourselves.

Justice is an example of a moral concept. Justice has different definitions depending on who you ask, but the most basic purpose would be to live up to expectations and standards by not harming others.

Justice plays a vital role in society because it helps us understand what acceptable or unacceptable behaviors coexist without conflict. Justice also protects humans from being harmed by others through punishment for wrongdoing and providing security for our future generations.

The justice system seems like it might become obsolete someday if artificial intelligence becomes advanced enough that machines are used to implement and enforce laws. However, AI lacks emotions and empathy, which is needed to comprehend morality and justice concepts. The problem is that some humans also lack these traits.

What is a Just Person, and What Are the Qualities of a Just Society?

I believe a just person is someone who isn’t biased and treats everyone equally. A just society is one in which people are treated fairly, and everyone has an equal opportunity to live a decent life.

Justness can be achieved through fairness, impartiality, equity, equality, and Justice. More specifically, just societies have fair elections processes that allow all people to voice government decisions. They also have an educational system that provides every child with the opportunity to reach their highest potential. Is it realistic to seek equality? Isn’t everyone unique and different at the same time? One of the biggest oxymorons in life.

Justice is a concept that has been around for centuries. Justice can be defined as the quality of being fair and reasonable, especially in the way people are treated by those who have authority over them. In the case of my friends I was referring to earlier, it’s clear there is an abuse of power and authority.

Justice isn’t only about punishing criminals; it’s also about protecting their rights and giving them a chance to redeem themselves if they fulfill specific criteria, such as showing remorse or staying reformed. People often confuse Justice with revenge. Vengefulness is a perfectly natural feeling, but punishing out of revenge isn’t Justice.

What do you think? Is Justice just a matter of perspective? or is it merely an elusive concept that exists in the minds of humans to keep our society functioning? Justice is nothing more than wishful thinking? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

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I write about Business, Relationships, Parenting, Philosophy, and Self-Improvement. Each article is curated, so there will always be something new to read!

Los Angeles, CA

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