Over the years I have closely observed an acute realism in the thinking of many of the Maldivians I have come across.
Such realism is a natural response to all of the corruption and tyranny that has been perpetrated by those who are supposed to be grand and noble.
This realism often leads to a profound suspicion about the motives of others. At times, it takes on an Islamic face. In a sigh of despair many proclaim, nothing can be done, it is Allah’s Will.
An observed manifestation of this acute realism in some is extreme narcissistic power hunger and personal corruption. Many reason, well, there is no way to escape corruption, if I am not corrupt I will get done over by the corrupt guy.
Despite this realism, leaders are still worshipped by some Maldivians although everyone knows the rhetoric and the cult nature of Maldivian political life is based on a whole lot of lies.
Leaders with absolute power get high on the power trip of being worshipped, no doubt knowing that it is only out of fear and selfish ambition that the people are worshipping them. To save one’s skin, or to promote one’s own self, one worships the leader publically.
So taking all this into account, the question arises… Why should one pursue justice when one is intelligent enough to know that we human beings are all corrupt and can never be anything but?
Human nature is selfish, self-deceptive and prone to corruption. Justice and goodness are defined by the powerful, surely there is no such thing as a real right and wrong, there is only ‘will to power…’
This was posed by Thrasymachus to Socrates in Plato’s Republic, and has been debated ever since.
There is a reward for pursuing truth, compassion and justice, not in a conventional economic sense, and not in a this worldly sense. The seekers of good in this life are normally tortured, rejected, and suffer for it.
The evidence that there is a reward comes from those who have suffered and/or died struggling for truth, compassion and justice when they knew they would never see it. The death and suffering of all the martyr’s for love and justice in human history proves that what they have, what they feel, is something much, something far deeper than what can be realized in this life. It is evidence that they have something, know something that is worth dying for.
This something is a hope rooted in an experience of a reality deeper than death. It is a profound sense of the sanctity of humanity which cannot possibly or logically come from this world.
It is awakened through both pain and love. It is the reality which this word justice is founded on.
Yes, justice is real, and it is not relative or subjective. It is the reward and punishment due for ones level of respect for the sanctity of humanity.
The need for justice is innate, and it is the greatest proof of the existence of a Supreme Being there is. Justice is frustrated in this world, and yet we still desire it and believe in it though we know we can never get it on this earth. The fact that this need for justice we have survives even though it is obvious that we will never get justice on this earth proves that this need must come from a source deeper and more powerful than what we can see in this world.
There is an inbuilt, a subconscious homesickness in each one of us for a home we do not know, for perfection and a humanity we have never experienced. This a-priori longing for the unknown is evidence that something outside of that which we perceive has reached down to us and put in our hearts a hunger for that which is existant only in the afterlife. It is the sense of the Divine which is the knowing of the unknown.
Where else would this persistant hunger for justice and perfection come from seems we cannot possibly get it from this world? What would motivate us to struggle for the sanctity of humanity knowing that on this Earth we will never realize it, if the knowledge of this perfection were not somehow built into our unconscious minds as the way the Divine makes us long for the Divine?
Do we crave for a food we have never tasted? So why do we crave for justice when we have never tasted that? Our taste for justice could not possibly have come from this earth, so where does this taste for justice come from if it is not somehow innate, an inbuilt sense of hope which whilst obviously not derived from this earth must only come from beyond it.
It does not help to deny the existence of the Creator in the name of Justice as so many have done. (Marxist’s… just to name the most common group…) Indeed, the existence of a Divine Creator and in an afterlife is the only possible and plausible hope for justice there is.
This is because, whilst some may get justice on this earth, it is painfully apparent that no matter how idealistic and disciplined the seekers of justice or the constitutionally ordained deliverers of justice are, human nature is such that there will always be injustice no matter how hard we work to ensure that this is not the case.
The socialist experiments proved this. I am here in a so called just and civilised society (Australia) and there is still rampant injustice and racism everywhere, even though we had been struggling to eradicate injustice and human rights oppression for over a hundred years.
So if you think Mohammed Anni Nasheed or any other leader can give everybody justice, you will soon be bitterly disappointed. Or if you really believe you can bring justice for everyone, you are either naïve or dangerously deluded.
Indeed, many leaders have held this belief. Due to our human need to feel self important, this belief does not cease in the face of obvious injustice. It does become a delusion. Once a delusion forms, many others form. It leads to schizophrenic paranoia and tyranny. The only way this dangerous delusion can be broken is through humility. Yet sadly, humility is never the thing that propels people into power.
Also, and this is the hard part, this inner hope I speak of is deepened by personal suffering. Suffering without this hope becomes selfishness, bitterness, moral despair, depression or rage. It often brings hunger for blood or hunger for God like status. Yet suffering, if fused with this hope, gives inner strength, compassion, spiritual power, maturity and wisdom.
There is a reward for struggling for humanity, even though it can never be completely realized on this earth. There is also a punishment for exploiting and belittling humanity in the pursuit of personal power.
At the end of all the reward and punishment however, I believe that the source of this hope I speak of is also Merciful beyond what we humans could ever comprehend. We are all as corrupt as each other; we are all hypocrites, all of us human beings. For every good we do we will also do as much bad. It is only through the Mercy of this hope that we have any right to experience the reward for following it because, we all deserve as much punishment as we do reward.
May we strive to awaken this hope in one another through compassion…