What if that person is “following orders”? Can we have grace for the Nazi soldier executing the unarmed and innocent on his officer’s command? Can we hold equanimity for members of the border patrol who are just trying to keep their jobs by turning away people seeking asylum? They have kids to feed too, right? Can we have compassion for people despite their choices?
Short answer: YES… AND they’re still culpable for their actions.
Even though there exists a very complex causality-matrix prior to the moments of culpability, in the end they squeezed triggers, turned away the destitute, and made choices that caused harm to others.
I think the issue lies in the dualistic system of justice that controls our overculture. Innocent and guilty…. not a lot of room for grey in there, right? What about the other colors of the decision-matrix? There isn't a lot of room for depth when everything is seen as topically black-and-white.
For this model of deep-awareness to work, we have to look for a framework to support it.
I offer for your consideration the Truth and Reconciliation process used in post-apartheid South Africa.
Read about it. Sit with it. Comment.
(See y’all tomorrow)