What comes to your mind when you hear the word justice. Is it the American flag dancing in the wind? A bald eagle flying over the Grand Canyon? Or is it something less symbolic; like the sweet taste of redemption? Getting back what you once lost? Or watching the eyes of a perpetrator as he is sentenced? If I was to ask you to explain justice in one sentence, how fast could you respond? Before this year, I would have responded like this: justice is the attempt to level the responsibility in an equal and fair fashion. With my background, I would be primarily speaking on behalf of the criminal justice system and human rights. However, it wasn’t until this year that my mind was changed.

The majority of you would think the same as me; an eye for an eye, what was once lost is now returned. This is not wrong, but it is definitely not right. Strip your old way of thinking, and give me the next few moments of your time. The meaning of justice has taken multiple edits. The official definition of the word (well one of them), according to dictionary.com, is the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness. The original definition, according to the roots and basis of the word, is a different story. Justice describes the establishment of wholeness where brokenness existed. Biblically, justice was used to bring wholeness to the people and community through goodness and impartiality. Jesus served justice by taking the broken and using them in his travels. By filling the broken with purpose, they received a sense of placement and reassurance. Instead of going for retribution, as a society, we should go for fulfillment and wholeness. There are too many if’s and why’s in the world. Where are the answers? Why can’t we identify with various groups in our country, or world for that matter? What are physical boundaries when we are barriers in our own personal connections?

This might be a theory, or just a spiritual discovery, but what if we treated justice the same as in this example? What if we stopped seeking revenge and sought-out understanding? The world would be different, at least in my opinion. There would be less bloodshed and more conversing. We are all broken differently. It is the value of justice you attest to that makes you whole. Be the person who asks why in the intent to process rather than attack. Justice is never served until you do a justice to yourself.