We understand life is not fair. The race doesn’t always go to the fastest runner, and it seems many are able to consistently get away with bad behavior. And perhaps this is what gives us a sweet satisfaction when justice is finally served, though, at times, still bittersweet.
On the one hand, we rejoice when hard work pays off. For instance, it makes us smile to see our kid ace an exam after putting in long hours of study, or to see our friend finally get his dream job after years of school and training. There’s a deep satisfaction here because something is right in the world. And typically there’s no hesitation or guilt when we see justice displayed as such. This is how it should be.
The same is true when someone must finally face the consequences of their bad choices. This might be the bully who finally gets put in his place or the cheater who finally gets caught. Even here, this is how it should be in the sense that justice is being served. We’re not turning a blind eye to bad and destructive behaviors.
But sometimes it’s still hard to see someone suffer the cost of his poor choices. Part of us is glad, while another part genuinely feels bad for them. And this complexity is simply part of the human experience. We want justice to be served while still not wishing ill will on the other.
To be sure, it’s okay to rejoice whenever truth and justice wins out. But we must check our heart attitudes to ensure we’re pursuing true justice and not merely seeking vengeance or taking delight in running others through the mud.
In the end, continue to seek the satisfaction that comes when justice is served, while also recognizing its application is often bittersweet and complex.