While on my recent “de-cluttering mission”, I came across several things that, for whatever reason, I’d been holding on to for years.
In this particular case, they happened to be documents connected to unjust events that occurred to me. I’m not sure why I kept these documents. I guess by keeping them I was hoping that someday I’d be able to use them somehow to obtain the justice I was rightfully owed.
The events I refer to are two different car accidents (both the fault of the other driver – the first driver, uninsured, completely disappeared off the radar when it was time for her to pay up, while the second driver completely disputed his fault, and without witnesses there was nothing I could do) and a training course that went balls up within a few weeks of having paid the initial $2,000 fee to enrol. Do you think all the students were refunded their money? Nope.
So that’s three unjust events that, combined together, meant I lost thousands of dollars due to the direct fault of other people. And none of those people were honest enough to do the right thing to fix that.
An ideal world
In an ideal world, the above incidents just shouldn’t happen.
If someone rams you up the behind with their car, they should pay you for any damage they cause, regardless of whether they’re insured or not. It’s simple human decency, and it’s called “responsibility”.
Same goes for corporations and how they treat their consumers.
In an ideal world the company involved in the training course fiasco should have reimbursed all its students, rather than taking all their money, disappearing and leaving everyone else to clean up their mess.
And, in an ideal world, the people running that company should have been arrested and/or banned from ever running a company again. Perhaps they were. I don’t know. Do you think we were ever updated on what happened? Of course not.
But I digress. (let it go, let it go…)
Thinking back through these events is, of course, frustrating.
And although these events are probably minor compared to other events where people don’t get “justice”, I think the lesson is the same.
While it’s hard to let go, if we are to look after our own mental well-being, we must stop chasing “justice” when the mental costs outweigh the benefits.
At the end of the day, I’m never going to get “justice” against the people mentioned above. I could keep trying to, but all that would do would be to make me more negative, frustrated, and angry. And it would prevent any sort of closure from finally occurring.
I have to accept that the above people have gotten away with their dishonesty, and there’s absolutely NOTHING I can do to rectify that. So it’s time to let go.
But what about the principle?
When I worked at a legal advice clinic assisting people who didn’t have money to engage lawyers, I often saw the “I want justice, whatever it takes” phenomenon.
Often these were situations where the client had fallen for what was QUITE OBVIOUSLY a financial scam from day one, and were now hell-bent on “getting justice”.
“But it’s the principle”, they would say.
Sure, but when “the principle” will lead you to a life of frustration, long durations of conflict, and chasing justice by throwing away more time and money … then is it really worth it?
“Justice” doesn’t really exist
The world isn’t as black and white as films, television, and the news likes to make us think.
Sometimes we’ll have victories, and other times we have to deal with losses. That’s just the way it is.
Either way, we all need to do our best to keep moving on, and not to dwell on things we often can’t change.
Whether it’s financial losses from car accidents or corporate fraud, stuff being stolen from your car or house, or even your heart being broken by someone else, the lesson is the same.
In these situations of no control, the only thing you CAN control is deciding whether or not to pursue “justice”. Sometimes, it’s best to just let it go instead…