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9. Justice

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Principle: Justice

Definition: the quaity of dealing justly between people; integrity; perfect social harmony; the practice of virtue toward others; equitableness; fairness; impartiality


Remorse is one of the Five Hindrances which are obstacles to meditation, happiness and our ability to lead satisfying lives. During meditation we come to understand their power and begin to develop skills to overcome them so they no longer have power over our thoughts and actions.
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Making amends or making restitution is an action step. Many think an apology might suffice. Amends, much like Step 5 (confession), is a humbling step through which we must own and be accountable for the effects or consequences of our behaviors on others and make every effort to right the wrong. If we have stolen monies or property, then we must replace what we have taken plus add one-fifth to it (much like we pay interest on debt). The result of having performed this step is freedom from guilt and shame which would otherwise remain alive and buried in our emotional psyche
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We move into action. We become an active part of the healing of the planet. Many will discover the giving of ourselves was what we longed for all our lives. We become filled with the marvelous power of hope. We join others in the great work of renewing the Earth and we begin to experience community again.
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All human beings have five debts we need to repay during our lifetimes. We must express our gratitude to the gods for their blessings by honoring them through ritual. We must pay the debt we owe our parents and teachers by supporting them, and passing on their knowledge to our children. We treat guests visiting our homes as if they are deities. We treat all human beings with the respect which is their due. We offer help to those who are in need.
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Almsgiving (zakat) is also a form of purification which cleanses the Muslim of greed and selfishness while requiring an equitable sharing of goods with the entire community. The purpose is to create unity and an understanding of the community as one interdependent whole. Zakat is critical to one's salvation. If a Muslim recites the creed, prays and does good deeds but neglects zakat, there will be no salvation. There is a reciprocal relationship between the practice of zakat and experiencing God's mercy.
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“There is a time to act” says Ecclesiastes. For Jews the deed is more important than the thought. Who we are is equal to what we do. Making amends heals us and the world; we begin to actively restore shalom; unity and wholeness to the world.
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Native American Spirituality

As we walk on the path of forgiveness and justice we stay focused on the things we have done wrong. We are on the path to becoming right with the Creator and with others.
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This verse asks us to give to others without keeping an account or expecting something in return. This principle equates giving with receiving. One is equally as important and virtuous as the other. Both are equal aspects of the practice of circulation. Both require an element of trust - trust that ultimately justice and fairness prevail. Trust in the law of karma which affirms that for every action their is a corresponding reaction. When we learn to trust in the Tao we come to understand that everything exists in harmony. Nature is harmony. In order for us to live harmoniously we need to give whenever possible and to receive whatever is ours.
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