Pursuing justice and taking the moral high ground seem diametrically opposed. Justice can be a form of punishment, and punishment seems retaliatory. If you’re supposed to take the moral high ground, shouldn’t you avoid any form of retaliation, even if it’s justified under the law?
The dilemma is solved by recognizing your duty to be kind and fair to yourself. Being kind to yourself means not letting other people use and abuse you. It means not perpetuating the drama, putting your foot down when someone crosses your boundaries, and pursuing fairness when you get taken advantage of.
Some people would say that’s a selfish way to live in the world, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be strong enough to take care of others. If you’re constantly allowing others to cause you harm in some way, you’ll become emotionally depleted and unable to help others even with their most basic needs.
Pursue justice righteously
First and foremost, the only way to pursue justice is to pursue it righteously. That means making sure you’re pursuing justice and not revenge. Revenge is emotionally draining. On the other hand, pursuing justice won’t tax you emotionally as long as you don’t get involved in the other person’s drama even when they’ve hurt you.
You might be wondering if you should ever consider pursuing fairness legally and the answer is yes. If you’ve been wronged and the other person’s actions have caused you harm, it’s absolutely okay to pursue justice through the legal system.
Sometimes harm can be fixed without pursuing a legal claim, but not always. For example, serious injuries caused by medical malpractice can be life-threatening. For instance, if your doctor prescribes a new medication for you without realizing the contraindications with your current medication, you could end up in the hospital fighting for your life.
There’s no way for a medical provider to reverse physical damage caused by their negligence. The only way they can make it somewhat right is to cover all of your medical bills and compensate you with additional funds.
If you’ve been injured by some kind of negligent action, it’s not your fault you’re out of work, your paychecks have stopped coming in, and your medical bills are piling up. It’s not fair for you to shoulder the financial responsibility. What’s fair is holding the negligent party to account for their role in your injuries.
Rethink what’s fair
Fairness is a concept with a complexity beyond the “one for me, one for you” mentality. According to Psychology Today, fairness consists of three parts: sameness, deservedness, and need.
Here’s what fairness looks like in the real world: Say you’re a 20-year-old adult playing kickball with ten-year-old kids. Your strength and skill advantage isn’t fair if you play to your full ability. To make the game fair, you’ve got to hold back on your kicking power and not try so hard. If you played full out and won a trophy, it wouldn’t be fairly earned.
On the other hand, when your lawyer is negotiating a settlement with your insurance company, they’re going to play full out and get you the maximum compensation you deserve. That compensation might include an extra ten thousand dollars for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages like loss of enjoyment of life.
You may think it’s not fair to receive so much money beyond what you need to pay your medical bills, but that’s what compensation is for. You’re not supposed to just break even. You’re supposed to be compensated fairly for your injuries, and if your injuries are serious, your compensation will include extra cash.
Treat yourself the way you treat others
Whenever you feel hesitant to pursue justice or fairness in your personal life, at work, or with the law, remember to treat yourself the way you treat others. Would you discourage someone from taking action against an employer who wasn’t providing lawful breaks? Probably not. In fact, you’d probably encourage them to at least file a claim with the labor board.
Treat yourself the way you treat others. Encourage yourself to righteously pursue justice when necessary, and don’t feel bad when your pursuits result in personal gain. If you really feel bad about receiving something, you don’t have to keep it to yourself. You can always share your rewards with others.
Shift Frequency © 2019 – How to Pursue Fairness Without
Losing Your Emotional Stability