Justice as a passion

I had a conversation with a cousin of mine, a little over a year ago. We were discussing politics, as we often have over the years. Though we don’t actively disagree, we don’t necessarily agree either. What was notable about this particular conversation was that his acknowledgement that I have “a passion for politics.”

This description did not sit well with me. I was not offended; it is accurate to an extent. However, it did not really fit. I was uncomfortable with the idea that he would define my politicism as a passion for politics.

I am, at least, somewhat politically aware. I have a long history of political activism: I have participated in campaigns and protests. I have lobbied in Sacramento on numerous occasions. However, I do not consider myself a political junky; I have numerous other passions that take up more of my time than politics.

It took me a few weeks to figure out what the problem was. It occurred to me when I was going through some of my writing. I started to recognize a pattern of concern.

The next time I spoke to my cousin I was able to correct him. I informed that my true passion is for justice and explained that the reason it looks like a passion for politics is that politics is often the arena where fights for justice take place. This explanation was apparently good enough for my cousin; he did not quibble.

So, one might then ask what is a passion for justice? I can only answer for myself. I am angered that through a quirk of geography and class some people are doomed to lives of misery and failure while others can live their life without ever facing any real consequences. I am angered that laws are designed to favor the interests of the powerful over the lives of the vast majority of the people.

I have been thinking about this because I like to write. My problem has been that I have not, to this point, thought that I had a good subject to write about on an ongoing basis. I have decided that justice and dignity will be the overarching subjects of my writing. In my opinion, dignity goes hand in hand with justice. There can be no justice without recognizing the dignity of every human being.

Anyway, I think this is somewhat reflected in my previous blog posts. Not completely, but close enough to recognize a pattern of concern. I am sure I will often digress into the genre of horror, because it is something I enjoy, and I am almost 30,000 words into a horror novel I am writing (it will be my first novel of any genre). I am sure I will digress in other ways, too; but that is half of the fun. I intend to define dignity and justice as I go along.

I hope I can make some friends along the way.