It seems that this is one of the pivots of civilisation.
The scales that balance everything, impartially.
It moderates activites, it ensures appropriate behaviour, it provides a framework where righteousness bestows impunity, and wrongdoing elicits punishment. It is the foundation of what we generally consider to be fair.
Of course it has some limitations and weaknesses that are most evident around big-picture economic and political matters, where conflicts of interests propagate into all sorts of absurd and outright inhumane propositions that are nevertheless are still strictly compliant. But in general terms we accept this principle as a given, and in most stable countries we are able to enjoy its benefits. It becomes an embedded part of our culture and our behavior and we apply it broadly and liberally to our lives. We like to be fair. We like others to be fair to us.
It is a profound expectation. And just as we expect fairness, we also expect that unfairness in whatever from should bring with it consequences. It is the foundation for all things from the business of remuneration for our knowledge, work or wares, all the way to religion.
It makes life, and human transactions easy. Clear-cut. Even. Fair.
I am good to you, I expect you to be good to me, and as long as we all abide by this I can continue being good to you (and everybody will – or at least should be happy). We beat our chests with pride when we uphold this idea.
Natural law however does not work on fairness. Things are not even. We are not all equally happy.
We defend a small idea on the basis of righteousness against an unfair or unjust opponent, even as we laying waste to all that surrounds us, and yet we feel courageous because we have remained just and fair, stood the proverbial higher ground.
But there is something that takes a far greater courage, and it pays in ways that fairness can never pay. It creates wealth and happiness, it creates sanctuary, it revives, it renews, it is above the higher ground, – and oddly enough, it costs nothing!.
You may sigh tediously as you read this heavy word. But the simple fact is, you are probably not brave enough to truly practice it.
You see, in order to give it, you need to repeal all ideas of fairness. You have to reject justice. You have to forfeit your advantage. You have to silence all judgement. You have to smash the scales. You have to become partial. Partial to the “other”, the recipient of your compassion. You have to listen instead of speaking.
And compassion creates things that fairness can not.
It creates real trust.
With trust comes sanctuary.
With sanctuary comes healing.
With health comes inspiration.
With inspiration all things become possible.
Just pause for a moment an imagine what richness is possible when people are good to one another for no other reason than the belief that it is the right thing to do. I hope that with that thought you will find the courage to be compassionate where you could have been just, or fair, or right.
Our world is broken. Broken by too much fairness and justice. It can only be repaired with compassion.
Someone you meet today will need your compassion above all else, and will be grateful to you for it in ways that you can not imagine. Give it.