The only true justice that exists for any of us is forgiveness.

People make mistakes. Try not to let it ruin your day. Sometimes, we even do things or make choices that in the moment don’t seem wrong. And later on, after the boon of hindsight, we careen into regret like that curve in the road we never saw coming.
But in a town housing a smaller population, word of a good, greasy, dishonest happening rivals the popularity of the evening news. Police officers discovered keeping more than what they reported, or trusted elected city officials using slanted positions to make some little money on the side. The easy, most pleasing response is to remake someone else’s life over into gossip. Entertainment. Because otherwise, the harder, far more honest choice, is to relate to them. To admit to ourselves, maybe not at the same degree or in such bold public manner, but we have been there. Felt the self-imposed burning off a judgmental stare.
Well, what about when you’re the one staring? Searching out an embarrassing detail, some jagged social key that unlocks people’s mouths into gasps of amazement or trundling laughter. Which is more of the same. An almost exact impersonation of the original agitation. A lack of consideration toward others. Our personally motivated choices often place hardship on our neighbors, family, even our humbled, well-punished selves. Out in the country, hidden along hills and the bare, frigid tree-lines that surround small towns, is an idea that people in these places are nosy. It lingers in the air like fresh fertilizer carried in slow moving wind, county to county, country home to country home.
And when publicly appointed officials or well-trained weaponized servants of laws step out, intentionally or accidentally, of a strictly drawn pattern of acceptable legal behavior, it can seem to justify some of this nosiness. A rationale for staring hard while wearing skeptical disgusted looks, nostrils flared, sniffing the air for an excuse to use someone else’s story to create a better reality for yourself. But it is not real. The only true justice that exists for any of us is found in forgiveness. A highly matured ability to let things go. To learn, always, and never fail to grow. And not dwell too long on the selfish or inconsiderate actions of our neighbors.
Being nosy, keeping an eye out for trouble, is not always bad. Just remember how it feels to have that view turned around. We all have inherited the right to own our mistakes. But forgiving and moving on, these are choices that we as a community will always be called on to make.

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