Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Rumbling Ramblings About Justice

When I'm blogging about a topic, I often start out by checking the dictionary definition of whatever I'm writing about. Linguistic precision is a goal of mine.

So today, I started by looking up justice.

The first link I got? The girls' clothing store called Justice.

It says something, when the idea of justice is so far from our minds that child-sized pink sweatsuits usurp the true meaning of "justice."

Do some digging, and you come up with:
a particular distribution of benefits and burdens fairly in accordance with a particular conception of what are to count as like cases

Then, look up the word "social" and you get:
living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation.

So, if you combine those two ideas, you get social justice. In my own definition, the idea that benefits and burdens are distributed fairly throughout a community.

This weekend, the organization I work for celebrated its 20th Anniversary. It is an organization dedicated to educational justice, or the idea that the benefits and burdens of being an educated member of society should be shared equally, that every child should be able to have an excellent education.

Sadly, this simple idea is not shared by all.

I did a lot of thinking this weekend, about what social justice means to me and how I will continue to perpetuate it. Expect a few more rambling monologues about it as I process. Expect a few wonderings that don't quite come together.

In the meantime, I share with you a quote:

Who said that justice is what you imagine? Can you be sure that you know it when you see it, that you will live long enough to recognize the decisive thunder of its occurrence, that it can be manifest within a generation ... ? Justice is higher and not as easy to understand - until it presents itself in unmistakable splendor.
- Mark Helprin

Wake up, y'all. The thunder is coming.

John Legend and KIPP Orchestra perform "Wake Up" from TFA 20th Anniversary Summit on Vimeo.

No comments: