Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Justice, Equity and Compassion in Human Relations

The second principle has arrived, and it has a lot of big words in it. I'll do my best to draw it out, perhaps more clearly, perhaps not.

Justice and Equity
Still relying on Google for my definitions, I've found justice to be the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, fairness, or equity. There's that word Equity again, so instead of providing a separate section for it, I'm going to look at it right away: the concept or idea of fairness in economics.

Human Relations simply covers how we relate to other humans, and building off the concepts in the first principle, this implies everybody around us, not just those that stand with us and share our beliefs, morals, sexual orientations, or the perceived "correct strict duality" of sex and gender (which I do not subscribe to).

In the bibles and books of principles that I've taken the opportunity to read and research, I've found an interesting concept: Fairness in Equity. As above, equity implies economic equality and fairness. However, the fairness in equity in those holy writ was applied only to people who shared the same religion: that Christians should not charge interest on loans to other Christians, that Jews should not charge interest on loans to others Jews, but those book are too eager to specify it applies Christian to Christian and Jew to Jew, not Christian to Jew, Jew to Christian, or to Buddhist, Hindi, Agnostic, Atheist, and so forth.

In this principle, however, Justice and Equity to all. All humans, all people, everyone that we relate to, even if that do not share our beliefs.

A deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering (Google). In compassion, there is no discrimination. In compassions, we feel the discrimination that others feel, even if we ourselves are not discriminated against.

I'll pause here and say that I do not equate "discrimination" with "stereotyping". While stereotyping does allow us to make quick determinations on others that we have not had the opportunity to know, as long as we don't judge people based on those determinations, we aren't discriminating. I've met very few people who, when looking at someone, don't even see the color of their skin; it's not that they ignore it, but they don't even see it. This doesn't mean that they don't stereotype, simply that skin color does not act as an attribute that helps them stereotype.

I will readily admit that I don't fall into this group. I do see skin color, but I don't associate negative stereotypes with any skin colors (except possibly those who share my own). I will readily admit that I do discriminate against people, most often against those people who have made poor choices in their lives, acknowledge that they have made poor choices, and still continue to do so.

I'm am also willing to admit that I'm not perfect (perhaps a bit too eager sometimes, and that is still another flaw). But as long as we are making the effort to change that and to accept all people equally, well, that's what important, I think.