Thursday, September 18, 2014
How does one find that perfect balance?
I found myself wondering that, for some reason, as I walked and thought about love and justice this morning.
The pursuit of justice is, after all, the pursuit of rights and equity. It comes when each has their rightful share, when none is denied what is theirs. It's a balance.
So in my mind's eye, I saw a table.
On that table, a bar of candy. Dark chocolate, preferably, maybe with a little bit of salt and caramel. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
Across the table from me sits Lady Justice.
"Hey Justice," I say. "I let's split that candy bar," and she's into the idea. She's fond of dark chocolate, after all. I pick up the bar, and then set it down again. I say: "We must each receive the same amount. It must be just and fair, exactly right."
She sits forward, takes up her sword, and gets ready to split it.
"Wait," I say. "I'm serious. Make it exactly perfect." Being Justice, she knows exactly what that means.
Perfectly fair can't be measured down to the gram, or milligram, or picogram. I'm not even talking about a one yoctogram difference, which is ten to the negative twenty fourth of a gram, the approximate mass of a single hydrogen atom.
This is delicious chocolate, after all.
To be perfectly fair, there can be no variance in the size of the pieces, no difference, none at all. If one portion has even the mass equivalent of the energy of one single photon at the height of the electromagnetic spectrum more than the other, then it is not perfect.
She looks at me funny, and then...lifting up her blindfold...stares with fierce intensity at the bar of chocolate. She stares deeply, her piercing focus growing more and more intense.
Finally, she looks up, a look of frustration in her eyes.
"But...each of the halves are giving off varying amounts of moisture, and are permeable to the environment. At every moment, they're sloughing off atoms and subatomic particles, varying in functionally unmeasurable, infinitesimal and chaotic ways. I can't possibly split it perfectly. It's not possible."
I give her a grin, pick up the bar, and break it in half, roughly down the middle. I hand her the slightly larger piece.
"Sure it is, dear heart," I say.
Love is more perfect than justice, after all.