Good Morning President Trump,
If you were studying justice you likely would have already made the slight leap from JG’s framing of it (all humans as unique and irreplaceable works of art) to Jesus’s encouragement to love your neighbor as your self and to love your enemy. And maybe you’d even have made the connection with Buddha’s guidance to treat all sentient beings with unconditional lovingkindness. In case you are unclear about what “sentient” means, it refers to a being’s ability to perceive and feel things. It is not, as I had been assuming, referring to the ability to think and discern. Essentially what JG, JC, and the Buddha (along with leaders of traditions I am unfamiliar with and countless millions of intuitive and enlightened beings) are all saying is no matter a being’s likeability, intelligence, inner or outer beauty, ability to generate profit, cooperativeness, or politeness they are deserving of justice and unconditional love. It means that people who engage in harmful, hurtful acts are deserving of justice and unconditional love. If we sit with the idea that we can truly love someone while abhorring their beliefs and/or actions we can see how radical and transformational (uh, your spell check doesn’t recognize either “transformational” or “transformative”) holding this frame of justice is.
The true heft of it comes home for me when I try and crank open my heart to you and to the millions of people who voted for you and still support you. In some ways it would be simpler if I could just write you off as a reviled, manipulative, deceitful gouger and your followers as dupes who have sold their souls to maintain the fantasy of white supremacy. But that would be too easy and ultimately would harm me because the other piece of all this unconditional love stuff is that we are all inter-dependent. What harms me will eventually harm you and what harms you will ultimately harm me. If I can stretch my heart wide enough to love you because you are a being with feelings even as I oppose your ideas and actions, I will set and follow just rules of engagement. This is old, old wisdom gleaned from millennia of observations about what does and doesn’t work for humans to get along with each other and survive, and we need to heed it.
May we care about one another’s safety.
May we care about one another’s happiness.
May we care about one another’s health.
May we set just conditions based on unconditional love.