Towards Justice: A Journey, Not A Destination

This is in many ways a follow-up to my previous post on justice. The discourse around discrimination and oppression on the basis of race are not going away at this time, and we must continue to wrestle with questions of justice if we wish to reform our society.

This quote by African-American poet, singer, memorist, and activist Maya Angelou has been going through my head of late:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” (Source: https://twitter.com/drmayaangelou/status/1028663286512930817?lang=en)

The more I think on it, the more I think that this eloquently and succinctly captures the nature of justice work. All of us who are striving towards greater justice in our lives and in the world, need to do the best we can with the knowledge avalable to us. When our knowledge changes, the best we can do needs to change to reflect that.

This also acknowledges that justice-work is never done. As Martin Luther King Jr’s moral arc of the universe concept alludes to, I do think that we are becoming more just as the years go by–but the journey is long, and the work is never-ending. Even the seemingly utopian Star Trek universe may have justice on Earth, but justice in the galaxy proves far more elusive.

Justice is a process, not a destination–a process that, even if we seem over the long-term to be moving in the right direction, seems on the smaller scale to be more of a “one step forward, two-steps back” kind of situation–and those steps are being taken through a minefield that risks blowing us out of the game altogether.

Though we may never fully arrive, the process of becoming gradually more just, of constantly learning and doing, and how learning and doing inform and improve and other–this is all worth it. For if we take seriously the idea that we are all image-bearers of the Divine–or even if we just take seriously the idea that all individual human beings have some inherent worth–then the more human beings who are lifted up by true justice, defined by love, the better.

So go and learn the best you can, and do the best you can with that knowledge, and keep learning more so that your doing can become even better. Amen.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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