I have always abhorred what I feel to be injustice. I’ve never encountered more injustice than good old Provo, Utah. A few examples to set the stage of my blog: the housing situation, almost theocratic, since the papal cardinals we call landlords have but to kiss the hand that feeds them and I have a hold on my academic record. Should such vastly different vignettes of a student’s life have such relation to one another? More importantly, the student loses their right to speech and representation, as I sadly learned from BYU Mediations and BYU Housing departments, who sound sympathetic, but in the end always side with the landlords.

Also, I just found out that I received no back end from my summer work. We all know I hated working this summer. I definitely didn’t work full time. However, I spoke with the manager about working part time and acknowledging I was taking classes and work wasn’t going to be my priority. But I did make several sales, even to the very end of the season. I was never warned or fired, vocally or with written notice, yet I was issued no back end check. The company is Pointe Pest Control, and I would definitely give a thumbs down recommendation for the company and its policies.

I could go on. What with the Provo City Vulture/Police department, blackboard quizzes, the disappearance of all things quiet and peaceful in this town, etc. etc. The point is: What is injustice? What is justice? Why do I feel, maybe you too, so hurt and upset when certain things befall us in life?

Here is reality: There are no guarantees made to anyone. Not by the universe. In fact, it is the universe that promises injustice. Two realities that we are given are that we were born, and that we will die. Most likely, we will die at an inconvenient time and place. People get cancer, fall off cliffs, and plummet to the earth in plane crashes and are cut short of life. But were they really cut short? Because for a life to be cut short, there has to be some term of expectation, and the expectation comes from somewhere. Otherwise, life is just life. You were born, and you died, and all is well.

So if the universe doesn’t promise us justice, then who does? There are certain schemas presented to us by government and religion. Here is where we get the idea of justice and injustice. The problem is that these institutions teach us ideals: principles that are pleasing to look at and sound pleasant, but aren’t practiced by everyone. Unfortunately, since they are so appealing, we grasp at them, hoping to hold onto them as some shield against the woes of nature.

What people’s actions teach me, that is what I should expect. People have taught me that money rules all. That power is derived from money, and everyone else is subjugated because of it. As our economy and society, especially Utah culture and society, is geared to making money and gaining wealth, then really that is what I, and all of us, should come to expect from life. Other people will try to take my money unfairly to make money for themselves. I have no reason to feel abused or mistreated, because my idea of justice was based on utopian ideals which have never been evidenced by nature or the universe.

As a side note, I feel I have been quite lucky to have been surrounded by so many good and wise people who are not like what I describe here. In my circle of acquaintances, you make up an abundant majority of selflessness and integrity. On a grander scale, I view you as a small minority in the clammy embrace of a money and power loving monster we call Provo.

So, what is to be done? Do we continue to let the cognitive dissonance between faulty ideals and reality cause us stress and anxiety? Or do we accept the Nietschean philosophy, that strong rules the weak, and those that can have the power should take it? Anyone who gets anywhere in life seems to do just that. Since, once you’re on top, you get to make the decisions. That’s the point where everything fits your ideals and becomes fair, at least to you.

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6 thoughts on “Injustice

  1. Nila says:

    I have just learned how to work these blogs. You may be sorry that I did! Provo is simply a microcosm of the world. The same exists in Denver, Colorado as does in Provo, Utah. And it seems to me that the root of the problem is faith. That may sound strange, but let me explain. I have come to understand that faith is the name of our spiritual senses. We are spiritual beings first, mortal human beings second. We have mortal senses that give us the ability to know the mortal world that surrounds us. It is a very dense and heavy world, with the power of gravity pulling upon us all of the time. But the spirit is light. In fact gravity does not have the power to pull spirit down unless it is embedded in mortal element. Just like our mortal element, our spiritual body has senses, tools with which to discern the spiritual world that also surrounds us, for all things were made spiritually before they were created physically. We have to realize that spiritual senses work through the physical sense of feeling. If you try to know God by what you can only see, you will never find or know God because our spiritual senses are used through the physical sense of feeling more than any other thing. Promptings come mostly through what we may feel, and at times also through a thought that may come to us.. But can the physical eye see thought? Again, we are left to see that things spiritual are not discerned the same way that physical things are. So what is happening in Provo, and all over the entire planet? We souls, the spiritual and physical beings, are putting aside our spiritual senses, our faith, and looking to our physical senses for guidance and direction. The result is so evident in all that you have just blogged about, and is so evident in the condition of the world. One can look at our own government and see the downfall of such practices. Is it not a wonder that faith is the first principle of the gospel? Without it we are surely dead. All of these earthly experiences are to strengthen our faith, our spiritual senses, and by faith we can see and discern God. There are religions throughout the world that can give truth that will strengthen our faith, or spiritual senses. But only one contains the greater abundance of truth that will strengthen this faith. By faith the heavens were formed. That makes sense to me now. It means that by our spiritual senses and strengths, just as would be done in our physical world, the heavens are formed or built. Do not be discouraged by what surrounds you. Build your faith and live above the worldliness. By doing so you can be an example to others, and they to can learn the power and joy that comes by living by faith. The physical world can overcome the spiritual only when we as souls allow it to happen by giving up our spiritual senses, our faith. Stay strong my young friend, and someday in faith maybe we can walk on water together!! hahaha

  2. blake says:

    I AM good and wise. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. D says:

    Interesting post. I too am very bitter about people’s intentions and hate the money worship we see all around us. On the topic of injustice, I love the following quote from Abraham Lincoln:”I know there is a God and that he hates injustice. I see the storm coming, and I know that his hand is in it. But if he has a part and a place for me, I believe I am ready.”I think this is the perfect attitude. We don’t need to understand everything, but we do need to be ready to act when that time comes. Faith is also a key:)

  4. Cylee Pressley says:

    Ben, Whoever Nila is she writes beautifully. I am completly moved by what she had to write in response to your post.

  5. Kate says:

    I feel your pain, I really do. However, I think the sweeping statement of Utah or Utah Valley is fairly over-biased. I have seen more justice here, and quite a lot of mercy- much more than I ever did in New York. Money rules every place in our country, perhaps this is the first place you’ve been involved financially, or stayed long enough to see that money brings out people’s true colors. But if you want cut throat, Provo has nothing on Wall Street, Los Angeles, and every other place where people need money to survive. I would argue that Utahns don’t value money as much as others as represented by the highest bankruptcy rate in the nation. People aren’t trying hard enough to get cash. As for injustice, just go to Disneyland and try to get some water. That will set you back $4, about 400% its actual worth. Ha!

  6. Magicman says:

    Nila, thanks for your insight. I agree that if we were to have the perspective that all things work to our good, then it would definitely make parking tickets and housing problems easier. Kate, good point. I have been to New York, England, Australia, etc. There is injustice, it is true. I think that the answer is that I expected more from people in Provo. I think I had the notion that members of our faith would be more forgiving, tolerant, loving, etc. When I found that many people in positions of power didn’t possess those traits, I was truly let down and more frustrated than if I were in New York where I would expect those things to happen. Thus, it’s all about our expectations (however right or wrong it is to have them).

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