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What is Justice for Trayvon Anyway?

Like so many of you, I’ve been following the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin case.

And to be honest, I was surprised at the verdict too.

But while my heart breaks for Trayvon’s family, this isn’t about what happened then.

I wasn’t there that night and neither were you.

Instead, this post is about what’s happening now.

It’s about separation.

You know, us against them.

Picking corners, taking sides, and throwing stones.

I’m seeing a lot of that lately, both online and off.

Again.

In Awake Exec we’ve been studying the power of words this month, specifically the concept of right speech. Buddhists will recognize that phrase in particular, but the rest of us will certainly recognize the four types of toxic language it asks us to avoid:

1. Lies
2. Divisive words meant to create riffs
3. Harshness or rudeness
4. Gossip

Sounds simplistic I know but, when it comes to right speech, simple is hard.

After all, strong emotions need an outlet.

And so we vent.

We criticize.

We rage.

But what we often fail to see in the fire of emotion… is that we’re only creating more of what we’re supposedly defending against.

In other words, venting breeds more venting.

Criticism ignites more criticism.

Rage fosters more rage.

Is that justice?

Hardly.

If Trayvon’s life doesn’t stand for something beyond stroking the flame of intolerance, then these “tributes” will only serve to rob him of the very legacy they’re meant to build.

To really honor the memory of a boy gone too soon, think about what kind of adult you would have wanted him to become.

And be that now.

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