Saturday, December 6, 2008

Humans cannot "right a wrong"

I have heard many times people say that they plan to "right a wrong" and I know others who live by the belief that they are doing precisely that, "righting wrongs." But they are wrong.

It is not possible to "right a wrong." It is only possible to stop doing wrong.

Once a wrong has been committed, only God can "right" it. A "wrong" refers to an action that has been taken, and there is no going back in time, no undoing the consequences of the wrong.

People who have been injured have to continue with that injury. Yes, they may receive justice, they may receive compensation, they may receive proper care after having been neglected, and so forth, but those are all remedies and they are part of what I am explaining "one must stop doing the wrong."

Part of the coarsening and desensitizing that underlies the increasingly neurotic, unhappy, depressed, violent and out of touch with reality society is the delusion of giving humans powers they do not have. Humans think that they can "right a wrong" through various methods, but they often do not remember that 1) the wrong has already happened and remediation where possible must take place and 2) the quickest and surest way to address an injustice is to stop doing the unjust behavior.

Only God can make a wrong to "never have happened" and thus "make it right." Only God can wash away sins, for example, as if they never occurred. That is an example of God "righting a wrong" on earth, an intervention into a living life. But for the most part, humans have to continue to live with the consequences of their and others' actions until they perish, and then God truly "rights the wrongs."

The sooner people lose the delusion that they can "right the wrongs," the sooner they can actually get on with what they presumably want to do, which is to no longer do the wrongs. People need to acknowledge that many humans today have a personal trail of damage, people they have wronged, either personally or through societal agreement. It is an important function of humility and being in touch with reality to keep humans aware that they cannot go back and "fix" what has been damaged and broken. They can only stop now doing the very deeds, and supporting the actions, that leave that trail of damage.

You cannot raise the dead of those who died unjustly, or too young, or due to poverty or neglect, or abuse. And you cannot "heal" the families who lost those who died. You cannot erase the memories of suffering or trauma, you can only stop adding to them, and give people the care that they need to cope and hopefully to thrive. You cannot pour love into the past, of people who lived without love, and "fix it." You can only start loving them now and into the future, and be humble that there are voids in people that only God can one day fill. And as I've explained before, you cannot know the "missed opportunity" cost of every wrong, of all that "could and should have been," but will never be because time moves only in one direction, and every human has only one life.

The sooner humans stop self-deluding themselves into being "good" and "great," the faster they can actually start to live in loving and virtuous ways that will be of the "right," and just not doing the many "wrongs."