Humans believe that justice is attainable via Christianity and/or Karma. They see justice as a function of the universe. The popular conversation is as if injustices will be managed by the universe through Karma or through the use of an afterlife called hell.
So when the downtrodden and the poverty stricken are beaten down even more, they appease themselves by believing that the perpetrator will go to hell. The perpetrator will receive all kinds of payback at the hands of God or at the hands of the unforgiving universe. I propose that this is not true. Perpetrators do not receive revenge by the hands of God or through Karma. They live their lives with their ill-gotten gains and then die, happily grasping their ill-gotten gains.
By believing that the universe will dish out the evil-doers just desserts, we skip our own opportunities to deliver retribution or even (gasp) revenge. We allow people to get away with some really awful stuff, all the while saying to ourselves “he will get his someday, and then he won’t be so happy about taking away from me.”
Think of this concept from an historical perspective, when feudal lords in England and Europe were raping women and children and stealing from hardworking farmers, the Catholic church was busy telling the peasants, “you will receive your reward in heaven.” The peasants were comforted by these words and thoughts, and so the habits of repression could continue as long as the peasants could believe in a hereafter that gave them power and punished the sinner. It is these beliefs and habits that produced a careless princess who told the starving peasants to eat cake.
It is this way today in America. We have left the confines of religious beliefs behind, and yet now, Karma has taken over as the new revenge machine. Karma is ‘all the rage’ for the tormented women and other such victims of America. The word is used all over Facebook, Twitter and on Meme captions. We want to believe in Karma and in the revenge of a just God. This helps us to get through the suffering of the trauma of a hardship caused by another. It helps us to make sense of being victimized or of our loved ones being victimized.
I will never forget my girlfriend telling me that she needed to believe in karma, it was the only way she could live with the knowledge that her husband had beat her every day for ten years before she could get away from him. She said that if karma did not exist that it would hurt her terribly to know that nothing would happen to the man who had inflicted such suffering on herself.
No, I thought, though I did not say, he died and he got away with it. No one hit him back, he never went to jail, he never suffered the horrifying fear of knowing that another beating was coming at any moment. He got away with beating his wife every day for ten years.
So, if you know that your perpetrator, that your bully, will get away with whatever that person is doing to you, would you be more likely to want to pursue justice yourself? Would you be more willing to make sure that your perpetrator faced a judge and some justice? Would you be less likely to hope that karma resolves your need for revenge? Would you be less likely to wait for heaven or hell to get your justice? I think so.
We cannot wait for “outside” to bring justice. We must take justice into our own hands. We must make sure that some future promise is not what we are hoping for. We must make justice now.
This is never to say that vengeful violence is the option to pursue. This is to say that we must speak up, we must pursue justice ourselves and not leave it to others, nor leave it to the universe. We must seek it by telling others of the crime, by ensuring that potential victims are aware of the perpetrator’s history. We must, ourselves, block further efforts of the perpetrator to commit more crimes. This includes the idea that we must protect our own self from others. We must never allow ourselves to be beaten and stolen from. Report the criminal behavior. Even if no one believes you, the perpetrator is sure to continue the behavior and someone will eventually believe you. Your story will help keep others from being hurt.
Remember the saying “My reward may be in Heaven, but rent is due here on Earth”. Use this wisdom as your guide, don’t be a victim of anyone.