Category: Druidry Written by Nimue Brown
I think justice is an incredibly important consideration for anyone following the Druid path.
I’m not personally much interested in justice-as-punishment. A lot of the time I don’t think punishment is just, because crime and wrongdoing exist in a social context. People who commit crime in a context of poverty and lack of opportunity are far more likely to be punished than criminals who are wealthy, powerful and running the country.
Most of us get little say in the kind of justice that revolves around punishment. Trying to punish other people strikes me as a horrible and unhealthy way for an individual to live. However, we can be active participants in creating other kinds of justice. We might think about that around properly recognising the value of what people do – paid and unpaid. There is justice in drawing attention to important work and in praising what is good. We can stand up for people who are oppressed and amplify people who need to be heard. We can be alert to our own privileges and be careful not to speak over others. There are a lot of everyday opportunities for promoting justice at a more personal level.
Often the most important personal action we can take is not to ignore things. In situations where you have a little power or less risk than others, you may be able to speak up about prejudice and unfairness when you encounter it. Saying nothing so as to avoid difficulty is privilege in action. If you can afford to pretend there isn’t a problem, that’s a huge advantage and something to seriously consider. Willingness to be uncomfortable can be key to bringing justice. When only the afflicted are suffering, injustice continues, enabled by no one else caring about it. We should not have to wait before we are personally affected to see the justice in resisting unfairness.
The two biggest issues around justice are without a doubt social justice and climate justice. The two are deeply intertwined. Recognising the connections is a good place to start. The unjust distribution of resources is the heart of this human-made disaster. That so few have so much while so many suffer is utterly unjust. As individuals there are limits on what we can do to tackle global-scale inequalities. We can however talk about it. Anything can change if there’s enough will to act, and we can all contribute to that change.
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