Just Mercy

by Bryan Stevenson

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What does Brian Stevenson mean by "the importance of hopefulness in creating justice" in Just Mercy?

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Stevenson also says in Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption that "there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy." With the above quote, our protagonist and author, Brian Stevenson, realizes more and more that the battle for justice and equity is uphill, but in that uphill climb, there is hope. His mature recognition is coming to light. It is not fueled by hatred that leads to propagating injustice; rather, it is a righteous anger which fuels action and the building of justice. That said, Stevenson's resilience through the seeming treachery of human injustice is founded in his need to show mercy. Granted, this mercy may come from hardship—as he says, in brokenness—but through the hardship, through the brokenness, humanity can create hope.

This is the key word here: "create." Stevenson uses the word "create" to exemplify humanity's role in allowing either justice or injustice. It holds the connotation of engineering, building, even playing with clay. By our action or inaction, we as individuals are contributing to the very fabric that holds our country together. So we must create hope, a living hope that endures through the process of building justice. What Stevenson realizes here is that justice is not simply a legislated action; rather, it is a process that takes continual effort. If humanity is to create concrete justice, that justice must be rooted in optimistic hopefulness for the future. Stevenson calls justice the instrument and love the motive.

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