Ever since I was a little child I always saw the good in everyone. As my family walked down the streets of New York City, my father would pull me away from smiling at the homeless and scold me for not keeping my eyes focused straight ahead. When I was 13 and 14, I was sent off for a summer in France and then a summer in the Caribbean. Before my departures my father gave me lectures about not talking to anyone I did not know.
Back then I thought he was judging people, but in reality he was trying to keep his little, outgoing, naive child safe. Over the years, I have learned the hard way that just because I see the good in people doesn’t mean they see it in themselves.
The last few weeks I have watched one of my best friends suffer through a wrongful death trial, in the wake of her daughter’s death. I was amazed at her strength and honesty. Her lawyers not only exuded power, but integrity, respect, and passion for the truth and justice. The lawyers on the other side manipulated the facts. To me, every lie stuck out like a neon sign on a new moon night-but the rest of society does not have my freakish telepathic abilities. It left me wondering what justice really is. Is it in the hands of a jury, or a higher power, or both? Here I ask some of my friend’s pets just these questions:
Zippy (Chihuahua): “This is a hard question. I think that the outcome of any situation involves a lot of beings and their path to evolving. Even though this judgment did not work out in my person’s favor a lot of people may change because of the process. That doesn’t change the truth and it doesn’t change that my mom was wronged. My mom is hurting, but the one thing that no one can take away from her is that she is strong, and beautiful, and loved. Our loved one that we lost is watching over us. That, they can’t take away”
Kit (kitten): “I am just learning about these things myself, but I do know that there is something deep inside of all of us that knows what feels right and what feels wrong. I would imagine that if you follow what feels right, then everything will be okay. One time I tried jumping off the counter to the table. Before I leapt, I noticed something inside of me didn’t feel right. I didn’t make the table and I fell to the ground and twisted my back. That is when I learned I should listen to what is deep inside of me. That is what decides justice. Maybe those strangers never learned that lesson.”
Justice (2.5 year old dog): “Justice is my name. I haven’t figured out what exactly it means, but I feel it is a combination of things, mostly that people and animals are held accountable for their behaviors. Sometimes people and animals make mistakes, but they still have to apologize if they hurt someone. What you are thinking about confuses me, but I think everyone needs to think about their behavior. I hope God upholds justice because that would be an enormous responsibility for anyone else. I think that in order to decide what is just you would have to study right and wrong for many years.”