What are your "just due benefits?" In the Declaration of Independence we read: "...all Men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." As an American a person might ask: What does it mean for me to be an American? He may also ask: What should it mean for me to be an American?
Speaking, not in the context of the American Dream that for many Americans is either an illusion or nightmare but in the context of the American Pie we can more accurately define the human condition that we are a part of. "This is as American as apple pie" is a somewhat familiar nationalistic pride assertion. Like any pie, the American Pie can only be cut into so many pieces. However, more importantly is not the number of slices the pie yields but the size of the slices of pie in relationship to each other. For example: if a pie is cut into four pieces and one of four persons receives one-half of the pie, it is obvious that the other three persons together can only receive one-half of the pie. And should one other person receive a quarter of the pie, the remaining two persons together can only receive one quarter of the pie. Of course, conceivably one or more persons could receive no pie at all. This principle, although elementary in its appearance, is the principle that applies to slicing the American Pie. There is nothing about this principle or humanness that suggests or justifies each person receiving an equal portion of the pie. What is definitive about this principle, in the light of justice, is that each person receives a piece of pie that is the size he is justly due. No rocket scientist or mathematician of Einstein's ilk is needed to figure out what is the justly due size of the piece of the American Pie you are any other American citizen is entitled to receive. In a just soicety everyone would be concerned about his fellow-citizen receiving his just due benefits no less than he would be concerned about receiving his own just due benefits. Let it also be known that these just due benefits are in large measure appropriated by grace, i.e., our own efforts have not merited some of the gifts we receive. It is also important to note that other factors such as exploitation, hoarding and politics govern and/or determine the benefits and size of the piece of pie a person may receive unjustifiably.
If just due benefits were actually appropriated there woud be no homeless people in America, no people imprisoneed without due process, based on unjust laws or the misadministration of laws. The appropriation of just due benefits would mean that no child, parent, or citizen would be left behind, in education, medical care, employment opportunities or in having access to venues that allow a person to satisfy not merely his maintenance needs, such as having food, clothing, shelter and safety, but to satisfy his self-actualization needs that include, but are not limited to, his vocation, enjoyment, leisure, volunteerism, creativeness and personal growth.
With the application of just due benefits, the wealthy will cease to exist and foundations that have been established primarily to permit hoarding of money and giving horaders the right to avoid paying their fair share of taxes will be disallowed. This would also apply as well to Colleges and Universities that hoard huge endowments that should be used to educate present-day students and those who desire to be present-day students but who need financial assistance in order to do so. Also the business of lobbyists, domestic and foreign, would be curtailed and there would be one obstacle that prevents duly elective representatives from doing what their constituents elected them to do.
It is worth emphasizing that just due benefits are benefits that a person is entitled to receive no less than he is entited to be a child of the Universe and live on Planet Earth that is owned by his Father God.
Regardless as to how loudly people cry "Peace! Peace!" there will not be peace until each person receives his just due piece of the pie. For those embracing this advocacy he motto is: "No peace without a piece!" Indeed, there is enough pie for everyone to be served his just due piece and receive a hefty amount at that. But gluttony, extravagance, wastefulness, hoarding and exploitation as practiced by many people, especially controllers and exploiters, will have to cease.
Each person has a right to demand that he receive his just due benefits. He should not succumb to plea bargaining or settle for less than what he is justly due in order to have a non-substainable peace. One thing for certain, it is not about peace without a piece. It is about peace with justice. Only peace undergirded by a piece is acceptable because anything less cannot withstand the challenges of life. The peace dividend results from peace that is derived from a just due practice. Translated this means nothing less than peace with a piece...of the action and resources...can suffice.
A person may choose to let his just due benefits go to his beneficiaries. He may not have a beneficiary. Being a relative does not necessarily make a person a benefactor or eligible to be a beneficiary. What really matters is how a person uses his possessions and talents while he is alive. Ultimately, a person's gift or legacy to the world is his gift of the spirit. When all else ceases to be his gift of the spirit, indestructable and beautiful, abides. It alone is eternal.
Copyright 2005 by Uriah J. Fields
Uriah J. Fields
P. O. Box 4770
Charlottesville, VA 22905