Justice and reconciliation
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (Philstar.com) - November 14, 2019 - 12:00am

The discussion about justice and reconciliation is perceivably relegated to those with highly philosophical minds. But the truth is, such domain can be contextualized based on one’s significant human experience.

Being just means hearing and weighing both sides or considering all factors and possibilities. And it takes an open heart to see what others probably cannot see or perceive. And it is justice that is pre-requisite to reconciliation. Reconciliation is only achieved when all parties have realized that one is being disadvantaged and hurt, and the other party has to face the consequence.

Much more when the hurt is deep and ostensibly irreparable, when reputation is at stake, and when all the honors reaped from the past are put to waste because of irresponsible expression of wandering thoughts.

Justice, above all else, is the very foundation in human interactions. Justice comes with the respect for the diversity of views, opinions, aspirations and goals. Reconciliation, on the other hand, is the result of weighing the transgresses, excesses and consequences. For me, no reconciliation will ever take place if justice is not served. Pardoning is about justice, and justice seeks to punish as there are consequences of one's imprudent deeds. Absolution seeks reconciliation.

Truly compromise is a piece of the recuperating procedure, yet by what means can there be mending when the injuries are as yet being exacted? That justice is still out of hand. Compromise ought to be joined by justice, else it won't last. While we as a whole trust in peace it shouldn't be harmony at any expense yet peace dependent on principle, on justice. Genuine reconciliation doesn't comprise in simply forgetting the past.

There is no reconciliation until you recognize the dignity of the other, until you see their view- you have to enter into the pain of the people. You've got to feel their need.   

Compromise implies cooperating to address the inheritance of past injustice.  Like absolution, compromise involves the heart. It can't be constrained on the individuals. Thus when one is pushing for compromise, I demand justice!

It isn't forgiving and never looking back as though nothing incorrectly had ever occurred, yet forgiving and going forward, building on the missteps of the past and the vitality produced by reconciliation to create a new future.

While truth can be told in a moment and pardoning can be offered so suddenly, reconciliation is crafted by lifetimes and ages.

In the lines of Mahatma Gandhi, this also becomes a personal mantra: “I shall not fear anyone on Earth. I shall fear only God. I shall not bear ill will toward anyone. I shall not submit to injustice from anyone. I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”


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