Updated: Jun 9, 2021
Prevalent in uncivil environments is the belief that if you have been wronged, you are justified in wronging another. If a boss mistreats you, then you are justified in doing what you can to do harm to them. If someone shames or humiliates you, then you are justified in doing the same to another. And the cycle continues...
The trouble with this thinking is that it spreads in society like a cultural poisoning and destroys bonds of trust that are necessary for human cooperation and well-being. According to the ancient Greeks, the ideal society is a just society, which can only be made up of just people.
Furthermore, being unjust damages the character of the person who chooses to act in this way. To be unjust is to lack honour and integrity. It is in this way that we violate our core values.
Choose instead, as Plato advises, to always do what is just, no matter the reward or reason.