When describing our son, my husband often will talk about his incredibly strong “justice meter’. Our boy feels deeply and intensely. There is right, and there is wrong. There is fair and there is unfair. There is equity and there is inequity. And he will always point it out. If the injustice is one toward him, he will want somebody else to “fix” it. But if the injustice is pointed toward somebody or something else, he will want to know what he can do to “fix” it.
Part of his justice meter is likely the black and white thinking of an Aspie. Some of it likely is driven by a personal knowledge of knowing what it feels like to be seen as different, other, or less than and the desire for others to not have to feel those things. But most of it is driven by his deep feeling heart, compassionate soul and keen observation of the world.
Over the years, we’ve seen his justice meter at work in things as small as the perceived inequity of his sister getting something he did not receive (No fair! Why did she get ice cream?) to things as big as wanting only monetary gifts the Christmas he was 9, so he could donate to the World Wildlife Federation in an effort to help save “all of the endangered animals.”
Most things in life are on a continuum, and while the examples I gave are the extreme ends of the continuum of this justice meter, there is rarely a day where we do not see some example of his need to create equity for himself and others. We see it in ways both big and small with incredible frequency. So, it was not surprising when he came home on Monday and told me that he was part of a group of students at his middle school working with the school administration to plan a remembrance event on the 1 month anniversary of the shootings at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
When I asked him why he wanted to help plan the event, he said “Because they mattered.”