An eye for an eye as a code of justice makes so much sense right? Taking back from the enemy what they took from you so that we can both lose something. So that it’s equal.
Recently the violence and injustice in Hong Kong is only escalating. Police firing tear gas, even indoors. Planting evidence in protesters’ bags so that they can be arrested. Addressing citizens as something as de-humanising as “cockroaches”. And in one incident, the shooting resulted in a girl who was a first aider on site, loss sight permanently in one eye. Am I angry? Absolutely. I am raging. My heart is breaking to see my homeland like this. To see human rights being stripped away. To see such ignorance, selfishness and violence. It is heart-wrenching.
But to me, justice is never something that we can work out like a math equation. Who are we determine what punishment someone deserves? So what if the person does or doesn’t get what they deserve? Is that going to make the world a better place? As much as I’d like to see justice in place for all the crimes and hurt that these people have caused, we need to move forward. And hating the abusers can only hold us back. I am not saying we forget all the horrible things that we went through and the impact it has on us. I am saying “despite of the hurtful things that you have done to us, I FORGIVE you.” Yes, an eye has been lost, yes, teenagers have been beaten and yes countless harm have been caused. But yes, “we FORGIVE you”. We are willing to be the bigger person and walk away from the hurt, moving forward, whether they admit the crime or not.
One of the mantras/ideas that have been frequently brought up during the protest was ” be water“. In my opinion this idea does not only apply to the way we act or the approaches in the protest, but also the way we think. Have the rage like a storm to speak truth, but also have the humbleness and gentleness to react to the violence, moving through the creeks.
It is not easy. But be the better person, go the extra mile, forgive, humble ourselves to love the enemy. And remember, the enemy behind the gas masks, are also humans.
Power to Love. Power to Forgiveness. Power to the people.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. – Matthew 5:38-39
Photo: Sam Tsang