Cry Justice - Chapter 1

Cry Justice!

by Christopher Blaze

Spokesperson for Apostolic Action, Inc.

Chapter 1

Cry! Cry! Cry!

ABSTRACT

Many animals can be said to cry out... But no creature cries tears quite like a human being.  In order for a creature to cry tears like a human that creature would have to be a “social” animal, have anatomical structures for processing tears, and have a brain structure for processing emotions.  Being social is about many things... the social glue, is unselfish love... only human beings hunger for love and thirst for justice! It is only within society that the human being discovers and explores the fullness of personhood... and pathways to happiness!  So why aren’t all happy?  It is what is anti-social in humanity that is the cause of much of our crying... If history teaches nothing else it teaches that happiness is found where peace and joy abound; peace and joy abound where justice prevails; and, justice prevails where truth is recognized and revered.  Many, indeed, are the tears... And, human beings have a lot to cry about!  A human being is a   “person” and no “thing” to be used and abused.  Neither should a human being be a user or abuser of another.  This is a matter of prudence and justice.  Wrong reasoning has led to a lot of injustices.  The twenty-first century yet in its infancy is filling with darkness.  This is a decisive time in history, a time that calls for a personal response from each of us – a decision about what and who we are.

 

Many animals can be said to cry out – to bleat, to wail, to bawl, to howl, to whimper, and to whine. And, some animals are even said to shed tears. But no creature cries tears quite like a human being.

Say what? Say this: In order for a creature to cry tears like a human that creature would have to be a “social” animal, have anatomical structures for processing tears, and have a brain structure for processing emotions.[1]

Why should you continue reading? Because, as a human being what we have to say may affect your sense of wholeness and happiness.

Dogs are among the most social of animals but there are no credible reports of a depressed dog crying its eyes out.[2] And although crocodiles generate tears their tears are not linked to emotion.[3]

Living things are said to be “social” if they tend to form cooperative and interdependent relationships.[4] In this sense social animals range the full spectrum, from A to Z – from apes to zebras.

Living things are said to be social if they live and breed in loosely or closely organized communities.[5] In this sense ants are said to be social.

Living things are said to be social if they tend to grow in stationary groups or masses so as to form a homogenous crop or pure stand.[6] In this sense self-pollinating grasses, for example grains (wheat, rye, rice, barley, and corn), are said to be social.

It can be said of many living things – and has been said – that they are “social.” But no living thing is “social” like a human being is social.

Say what? Say this: The term “social” was coined to describe human behavior and not the behavior of plants or animals other than humans – meaning no disrespect to such animals, the so-called beasts.[7]

There is much for us to respect – even admire – and some things even to fear when it comes to the capabilities and attributes of other living things. Some among of them are threats to our serenity and survival, e.g., poisonous mushrooms and carnivorous predators.

Some living things dwell where we cannot dwell and go where we cannot go. Nevertheless, they cannot transform or transcend their environments like we can. What class of living thing other than human beings has written a poem, painted a picture, travelled to the moon?

No class of living things is as capable or as dynamic as human beings. No class of living things is as self-consciousness as humans. And no class of living things is as response-able and therefore responsible and accountable as human beings.

No class of living things is social in the same way as human beings. What class of living things other than human beings establishes clubs and cultural centers, universities and medical centers, and sodalities and shopping centers?

Being social is about many things held in common, mutual things – especially intangible, non-physical, things. Being social is about concern and care, friendship and fellowship, integration and interdependence, regard and respect, solidarity and sympathy, unity and urbanity – and according to the Judeo-Christian tradition the binding force, the social glue, is unselfish love, generous love.

Many consider marriage as the primary productive social unit. When defined broadly as a socially or ritually or legally recognized union of a man and a woman [8], marriage is considered a cultural universal. The whole body of cultural universals is known as the human condition.[9]

Marriage is considered productive in the sense that it is ideally suited to the support of responsible procreation and propagation of the human race. A married couple, with or without children, can be called a school of socialization.

And, married couples with children constitute fundamental building blocks of society. A “society” is what we call a group of people who have formed a community of interdependent relationships with each person concerned about the common good, concerned with the benefit of all.[10] A family, therefore, is a society of its own – a family is a domestic society rather than a civil or religious society.

Why all this emphasis on the words “social” and “society”? Because words are symbols; words are important!

It is through words that we communicate. It is through words whose definitions are held in common and are well understood that we exchange thoughts, ideas, concerns, needs, and wants. It is through words that we express joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. It is through words that we alert to danger and lead to safety.

The English word “social” can be traced back to the 14th century and the Latin word “socialis.”  And, in Latin “socialis” is related to “socius” which means companion, ally, or associate.[7] It is from theses roots that we get the term “society.”[10]

The social nature of man and beast is a great help in obtaining food to eat, avoiding being eaten, and reproducing the species. But only humans use their social nature to seek happiness – and it is in society alone that they can find it.

Say what? Say this: Animals may satiate their hunger for food and meet their need for sex and sleep, but only human beings hunger for love and thirst for justice!

Love seekers and justice seekers that we are, when rightly oriented, rightly ordered, we are impelled to show regard and respect for all living things. Foremost however, by way of right reasoning, we know that we have a fundamental obligation to our own kind.

Thus the natural man, in the form of male or female, undisturbed by malady or malice, uncorrupted by venom or vice, will form friendships, will form fellowships, and will form families. The natural man will seek solidarity, sow sodalities, and structure societies.

Why all this? To drive home the wisdom of the ages: It is only within society that the human being discovers and explores the fullness of personhood, personal dignity, personal purpose, personal potential and pathways to happiness!

So why aren’t all happy? Why does happiness seem to run through our clutching fingers like water? The answer, in part, is that some human beings are more social than others.

Everyone one of us has had problems getting along with others at some time or in some circumstances. This is normal. And many, perhaps most human beings, from time to time are temporarily un-sociable. Health and other issues may limit a person’s natural inclination and ability to be social during a time of crisis or illness.

More relevant to our line of argumentation herein is the abnormal. There are several types of personality disorder which make it consistently difficult for people to get along with others – most of all Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASD). People with ASD are inclined to disobey rules and show disregard for others; they can be aggressive and violent.[11]

In the extreme, persons who behave in antagonistic or violent ways towards other persons – and do not feel guilty about such behavior – are considered dangerous to society. We have a term for such a dangerous person and that word is “sociopath.”[12]

In what follows we are not addressing our remarks towards those persons who are un-social. We are addressing our remarks toward those persons who are chronically and characteristically anti-social! The anti-social persons are the ones with beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors that deviate widely from that which defines “social.”

There are many wise sayings and one of them is “You will know them by their fruit.”[13]
The anti-social are dividers and destroyers of marriages, and families, and societies and cultures that are founded on love and justice.

The anti-social are producers of prejudice, proliferators of lies, and purveyors of smut. They sow suspicion and sedition.

Anti-social are those who denigrate and defame others. Most are self-centered. Many are egotistical. Some are filled with excessive self-love; some are filled with self-loathing or self-hate.

In some ways, the anti-social may mimic the authentically social – some preaching and practicing “socialism.” Socialism is more focused on the abstraction of a “collective” rather than on the reality of the human person. Socialism is unloving and tyrannical!

In some ways, the anti-social may mimic through faux social structures. The anti-social are the creators of counterfeit marriages, counterfeit families. The anti-social are the formatters of false societies forging the Culture of Death.

What is anti-social in humanity brings forth the bitter fruits of pride, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, avarice, and sloth. It is what is anti-social in humanity that is the cause of much of our crying, much of our tears.

It is what is anti-social in humanity that most disappoints. It is easier to accept the indiscriminate impersonal acts of nature like the tornado and the flood, than it is to accept the deliberate inconsiderate unkind act of a fellow human being. Nature may be the cause of death, destruction – even desolation – but only humans bring such about with malice.

Truly, no living things shed tears like humans! Say what? Say this: Humans sometimes shed tears of joy; mostly, human tears accompany and signify mental, spiritual, emotional, psychological, or physical pain and suffering. A loss is a loss, but no pain is so penetrating, no wound is so deep, as that which pierces the human heart.

Of all creatures humans are by nature the most relational, social, and emotional. What makes humans happy or sad is the role of emotions.

If history teaches nothing else it teaches that happiness is found where peace and joy abound; peace and joy abound where justice prevails; and, justice prevails where truth is recognized and revered. Justice, by definition, is defined as conformity to truth, fact, or reason.[14] And, prudence is defined as the ability to govern and discipline oneself by right reasoning.[15]

This lesson of history, this “pearl of great price,” is hard won. This “lesson for living” is learned through the mistakes of man – and each one of us gets to prove its veracity by his or her own personal experience.

To paraphrase what was stated before, we don’t get to break truths, we get to bruise or break ourselves upon them. “Because we are connected to each other as fellow human beings, we gain by the goodness of some and we suffer by the evil of all.”[16]

Many, indeed, are the tears shed by human beings. And, human beings have a lot to cry about! Bards and balladeers, the psalmist, poets and writers of prose, lament our lamentations.

Travel the world and the seven seas, everybody's looking for something. Some of them want to use you; some of them want to get used by you. Some of them want to abuse you; some of them want to be abused.”[17]A human being is a “person” and no “thing” to be used and abused. Neither should a human being be a user or abuser of another. This is a matter of prudence and justice.

Clearly, it is a social duty of each person – and from a societal viewpoint in each person’s self-interest – to recognize and respect the dignity of each and every other human being, without denying or overlooking what may be their faults and frailties. Clearly, it is a social duty to help each person see their inherent dignity – the praise-worthy attributes and positive potential of the human nature that we possess in common.

Clearly, it is a social duty to encourage each and every person to try to live up to the fullness of human potential that is in them. Right reasoning, starts with respect and love for self as a human being and regard and respect for other human beings.

Wrong reasoning has led to a lot of injustices. The twentieth century of recent memory with its two “world wars” and so-called military “police actions” was bad enough.

The twenty-first century yet in its infancy is filling with darkness. One has to be blind to not see it happening. One has to be deaf to not hear the cries of the poor, the victimized, the dispossessed, and the dying. One has to be blind and deaf to not know of the Terror that has been unleashed in the present darkness – not just in the Middle East but around the globe. Some say that the Third World War has begun.

This is a decisive time in history, a time that calls for a personal response from each of us – a decision about what and who we are, individually and as a species, the human race. “'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'”[18]

We agree with lyrical proclamation: “We are how we treat each other when the day is done... We are how we treat each other and Nothing More”[19] Do you agree with us?

[Questions and comments on this series may be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ]

 

Footnotes

[1] http://news.discovery.com/animals/zoo-animals/do-animals-cry-130917.htm

[2] op cit.

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile_tears

[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social [4a]

[5] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social [4b]

[6] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social [4c]

[7] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social

[8] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_universal

[10] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/society

[11] http://ask.healthline.com/health/personality-disorders#Overview1

[12] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sociopath

[13] The Gospel According to Matthew 7:16-18

[14] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justice [3]

[15] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prudence?show=0&t=1421011887 [1]

[16] The Road Goes On; A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Ring,” A. K. Frailey, © 2011, ISBN: 978-1-4502-8810-1, Published by iUniverse, Inc., Bloomington, pg.28.

[17] Lyrics from “Sweet Dreams,” written by Allen Toussaint.

[18] “Lord of the Rings,” by J. R. R. Tolkien, Book 1, Chapter 2.

[19] “Nothing More” lyrics by The Alternate Route, as published on October 7, 2013.

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Category: Cry Justice