The 8 Tenets of the Aikido Student – Justice (Gi)

This article is part of a  8-part series  on the Samurai Code for Modern Times.

“Believe in Justice, not from other people, but from yourself.  To the true Samurai, there are no shades of grey in the question of honesty and justice, there is only right and wrong.”

When you are about to die on the battlefield, things become very simple.  There is no pondering, and agonizing over which choice to make; if you happen to choose wrong you never know it anyway.

Justice is actually a simple concept.  Justice is understanding the difference between right and wrong, and doing right.

However, in the modern world, things become more complicated.  We have developed into a society that decides justice in the courtroom. I recall a line from Tom Cruise in the wonderful movie A Few Good Men  “It doesn’t matter what I believe, it only matters what I can prove . . . “.  For better or worse, we have adopted this mentality, and justice in our society has become “fuzzy”. For many, they will only acknowledge that they have done something wrong if you can somehow prove it to them, and will continue to do morally questionable acts with no remorse.

It’s time to take justice back into our own lives, and make it personal again. Like the above quote says, you must first decide right and wrong in you own mind and own life.  Only then can you dispense your obligations with honor.  Justice is our moral compass that guides us through life.  Some decisions are not clear as to whether they are “right” or “wrong”.  We must weigh all the factors and alternatives, and choose the course that is the most “right”.

Finally, personal justice has no meaning if our actions ultimately create an injustice.  For example, the mafia and the Yakuza have very strict codes of conduct for its members.  They dispense their obligations, they take care of each other, they obey, support and protect their leaders.  This sounds honorable, until we recognize the central theme of the organizations; to raise money through crime.

Don’t allow justice to be decided by someone else; it is your moral compass, and the only means by which you can make good decisions in life.  Justice is too important to let your lawyer, the courts, or society decide for you.

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