Updated: Jul 30, 2020
The search for justice is innate to all human beings. However, the idea of justice varies from time to time and depends on the capacity for empathy in each of us.
Let us analyze the following story: Marcus was a very intelligent 7 years old. Since an early age, his parents took him to a certain religious community close by their house. The religious community did a lot of charity work to many people in need, and Marcus was loved and admired by all for his dedication to the charity work he was involved with. He was an exemplary student and was liked by all his school friends as he was always up to help anyone who needed his help.
Two days after his 18th birthday, Marcus was in college when he was told there was an emergency and he must hurry back home. Since his mother was sick, he started to worry and rushed home. When he arrived, he noticed some of his family members were crying and he thought the worst. But when he went into his mother’s room, he saw her very sad, but healthy, and he was relieved. That was when his younger sister ran into the room screaming that their father was run over and died. The relief he felt earlier when he saw his mother well turned into panic as he was very close to his father.
Months have passed, and Marcus, still crushed by the loss of his father, became romantically involved with a girl in college. She was very good looking and was known in college as someone who was involved with heavy drugs.
It didn’t take long before Marcus, with hope to minimize the pain that the loss of his father brought, accepted trying cocaine. Since he wasn’t experienced, he became addicted very quickly, as the drug provided moments where the pain of his loss lessened. In less than a year Marcus abandoned school and started robbing people to maintain his addiction, leaving his family members devastated.
One day he was extremely high. He tried to rob a man who turned out to be a police officer wearing civilian clothes. The officer tried to subdue Marcus, who instinctively killed him in a moment of self-preservation. After the fatal shot, Marcus came to his senses and copiously started to cry. Since he did not leave the crime scene, he was soon arrested, taken to prison, and beaten until his death.
This story repeats itself many times with different characters throughout the world. It brings us many different points of views to reflect upon.
The friends and family of the police officer agree that justice was served because that young man had killed a family man.
And how about you, who is only a reader in this ordeal? Do you think justice was served with Marcus’ death? Or do you believe true justice should be followed by mercy? To help you with your reflections, remember you could be the head of a family and one of your kids could be Marcus.
We all make mistakes and some of them irreparable, justice is necessary, but not only as a punitive agent, when an education is solely punitive, it is very slow for it generate rebellion. True justice must be followed by compassion, which in turn feed that divine being who is deep within each of us.
Imagine if Marcus were not killed, and after living up his sentence, he were to dedicate himself to educate youngsters against the use of drugs. How many lives he would save in the name of the dead policeman?