Sunday, July 21, 2013

Is Our Society, Including Our Justice System, Flawed?

That's an easy question. Is society and the justice system flawed?  Of course it is!  Our justice system relies on human judges, human litigants, and human jurors.  All humans are flawed, so, necessarily our justice system, conceived by humans, to enforce laws authored and voted upon by humans, and administered by humans. It is necessarily flawed. This world  is not black and white, but is the full spectrum of shades of gray. 

As self-righteous as some of us are, there is always a different point of view. We are all, or almost all, - sorry sociopaths - a blend of good and evil. Most of us want to be  more good than evil, but we all look at the world through different experiences, values, goals, loves and hatreds. It's a miracle that we can relate to the numerous people we do relate to. It's hard to get all people on anyone side. 

By way of example, and you'll need to bear with me, the dichotomy of flaws crashed through my front door this week.  Our beloved dog, Rowdy, a beautiful, sleek and skiddish Irish setter died mysteriously at age ten. Everyone was affected, but in different ways. We all grieved separately, me the loudest, with my son devastated silently. We had literally saved Rowdy from execution by lethal gas the day we rescued him. We believe in adopting rescue dogs.

I wanted a new dog, and soon.  Not all of us agreed.  I wanted a dog to fill my void. We found Mimi, a precocious 3 year old Boston Terrier with a seizure disorder.  She is so adorable, smart, playful and affectionate.  If she's not throwing her squish toys in the air, while goading the pit bull into playful duels, she was on my lap cuddling and licking my face. Until Saturday night.  After we had turned in, Mimi had a cluster of four horrible grand mal seizures which were ghastly. After each seizure, Mimi knew not where she was and appeared to have been blinded.  We scooped Mimi up and drove to the local Vet ER hospital where they checked her out. Tomorrow we go to her regular vet and are prepared to get more medication, and I will be journaling every detail of her seizures, while attempting to digitally record what happens. 

On Saturday I went from the mountaintop of joy with this dog to the depths of Death Valley with her prognosis. We just adopted.a flawed dog who has brought me so much joy and we saved her from living, or dying in an animal shelter.  The vet treatment is not cheap. So we had competing interests and we had to decide what was most important to us.  Mimi handily won, but she had lost the very same battle when the the family before us grappled with the same issues. Their student loans, car payments, and young children, all caused them to believe their finances and time were insufficient to properly care for this dog.  You can't blame them.  We all have different circumstances and different points of view. 

Thus it is with the justice system, along with most all other systems which keep society rolling. This includes politics, school systems, the Supreme Court, and everything else.  Before we can agree on anything, truly agree and not just begrudgingly concede, we must understand the other's point of view.  Understanding another's point of view is EMPATHY.  EMPATHY is the key to civilization. Most, if not all, people have the capacity to be empathetic.  

Whether you are going to trial, running for election, or planning a party for your child's kindergarten class, these tasks are always smoother when you look at the other people's point of view. Empathy is a must for parenting and marriage. Before your next conversation, why don't you imagine yourself as the other person. Become him or her. What does that person want and how does he or she feel. The systems, all of them, really work better when you try a little empathy.

No comments:

Post a Comment