Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week Eight, Q1

Justice: “Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

Personal notes:

  • Put others ahead of yourself;
  • Empathy;
  • Give how you would hope to receive, the “Golden Rule”;
  • What does “Justice” mean?

A friend of mine is destroying himself through addiction. We confronted him last week. The confrontation released a storm of pain, denial, anger, betrayal, sadness, honesty. I told my friend he was killing himself. How do you do that and then go about the rest of your day?

You don’t really. Days are ruined, and being honest with you, there was a big part of me that didn’t want to be there. Why burden myself? Why expose myself to the darkness? I am not family. He has to make choices for himself. This is someone else’s problem…

But there is no one else.

It was after the intervention that I had a moment to reflect and understand the second half of Ben’s phrase, “omitting the benefits that are your duty.” As friends, we have a duty to act on his behalf. Failure to do so is more than an omission, it’s a betrayal; a betrayal risking his life. So we acted.

I understand Justice better now. Said simply, do what is right. Do it despite the pain or discomfort it may cause you. Act with honor in your interactions, both large and small.