Five nice shiny pennies or one shiny nickel, which would you take? The monetary value is the same, but a small child will tell you those five shiny pennies are more. It’s not about the monetary value but the number of coins that a young child will base his/her decision upon.
That same child, if s/he has a sibling will want to do everything to ensure that if cake is being cut that s/he is getting the same size or larger than his/her sibling. Children have a sense of fairness and justice from an early age. It’s only as we get older and experience things that we realize things aren’t always fair and justice sometimes is a long time in coming.
Beloved grew up witnessing injustices big and small. He learned very early on that parents do have Favorites in some ways, that things aren’t always divided equally and Justice sometimes is found in ways outside of the system. To this day he can describe some of the injustices in his life.
And to this day he is haunted by the horrible injustices he witnessed. He is also haunted by the way people coped, or didn’t cope, with how they were impacted by the lack of Justice. To this day he is always looking for equality and ways to fix things. He allows people to share their stories and hear stories from those on the other side of the equation in hope that somehow, some way there is some understanding and sense of fairness.
You cannot point out to him that it’s okay to have things out of balance because to him that means things aren’t fair. It means stories aren’t told, victims exist and Justice is denied. In another time, under different circumstances I suspect he would be a lawyer seeking justice for those unable to speak for themselves. And somehow I suspect I’d end up with a little less cake!