Justice and forgiveness

A man in injured by a negligent driver:

“In the euphoria of my anger, I neglected to take her licence number.

“This, incidentally, was a moral error on my part. As Socrates explains, rather warmly to the smart Callicles, in the Gorgias, it is better to suffer wrong than to perpetrate wrong. But having done wrong, it is better to be punished than to escape punishment. And this is universally true. By failing to record the licence number (though I had a notebook & pencil on my person) I had let this woman escape punishment. By doing so, I had wronged her. It was my moral duty to see that this woman received the punishment she deserved, for her own sake, & for my own sake as a just man. “Forgiveness,” in the heart, is quite another thing; & injustice is an impediment to that forgiveness.” — Bystander syndrome, by David Warren

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