Sunday, May 20, 2012
Pearl Buck, the writer, who lived in China, wrote this memory of waiting on a station platform with a Chinese grandmother and her grandson and daughter. The kittle boy did something naughty and blamed his sister. The grandmother spanked the little girl who protested her innocence in vain. Buck could not refrain from telling the old woman the truth. She shrugged it off saying, “It doesn’t matter, it is more important that my grandchildren learn early that injustice falls, sooner or later, justly on us all,” The train came and the trio left Buck with a new insight.
I learned that when I was three in my grandfather’s, Basil King’s, house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My nurse Nanny accused me of wiping my bottom, pointing to the toilet paper in the bowl. Apparently, I was too young to do this properly. She always did this for me. I was innocent but got scolded fiercely, and the awful truth that grownups could be fallible dawned on me at an early age! I had thought them omniscient. Never again!
As I am now almost 90, you can see how profound a revelation this was! Since then I have suffered unjust punishments over and over, as I am sure my readers have as well. Perhaps they make up for the things we get away with.
I wrote these conclusions once to console a friend who suffered a false accusation and was deeply hurt and offended. I wish I could thank her for making me aware that this is an archetypal human condition. That Chinese grandmother was very wise.
These days, the news brings us tale after tale of horrible injustices, leaving us with the agonizing question of why so much suffering has to be? False imprisonment abounds. The Greeks, I believe, though I am not certain, sculpted a woman holding the weighing scales for measurement. She is blindfolded. Justice is blind.
Some would argue that this is karma but if that is so, we should benefit by the Chinese grandmother’s conclusion:
Injustice falls justly into the lives of us all.
Posted by IonaDove