Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Justice

We used to be ridiculously politically incorrect in the olden days. Remember Flip Wilson, dressed in the judge costume, wearing a tilting greyish wig and the "Heah come da judge!" routine?

So, I had to go to court to testify about a case that involved my car and a driver who decided it would be ok to smash into me and then drive off. But two different people (me duh and someone else) got his license plate number. So I toddle down to court on the metro (subway in Montreal), on one of the freezingest cold days of the year, when I'd much rather be at home working on my book (yes, writing another one)...and anyway, the guy had paid his fine and I didn't have to go. They refunded my metro tickets and sent me home.

And I started thinking about justice and how it works.

1. Someone does something bad.
2. They get caught.
3. A group of people decide that the person did indeed do the bad thing, and how the person should be punished.
4. A negotiation starts.
5. Sometimes, justice is done. Sometimes, it isn't.

And I started thinking about the interesting projects I am involved in. I just started helping to organize Montreal's One Billion Rising event. This is a worldwide event that was conceived by Eve Ensler,  to demand an end to violence against women.

This is justice.

Montreal Birth Companions has started a Birth Abuse Witness Program, which will collect attestations from women who have been left uncomfortable with their birth experiences. These attestations are part of a campaign to change the maternity care system in Montreal.

This is justice.

Every week, MBC volunteer doulas assist women who have no resources, who are from other countries, who may not have families or partners here, who may have experienced abuse and violence. MBC doulas accompany these women to give birth and provide a safe and nurturing environment for them and their families during this important time.

This is justice.

At Bumi Sehat, in Bali, women are given quality care during their childbearing year. Midwives, doctors, acupuncturists, and others care for these women without payment because of the generosity of others and their desire to do good.

This is justice.

So, justice isn't only about hit and runs and terrible crimes. When those things happen, yes, we would like the state to get involved and do its thing. But the simple acts of justice, love and kindness balance out. They have to.


Let's find the balance.

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