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.