"we wish you well in your transformation, far away"

in the first episode of ‘how to survive the end of the world’ there’s a point where autumn and adrienne are talking about forgiveness and transformation and adrienne says something to the effect of “we wish you well in your transformation… far away from us.”

and it sort of broke something open for me. i’ve been in a few spaces recently where a discussion of what transformative justice looks like has come up. i really like the idea that everyone is on their own journey of transformation. and i also genuinely believe that community is both and end and the means for each of us to become more fully human.

and yet, there is the question of what happens when someone takes an action that harms a community past the point of redemption. things like rape and murder come to mind. and i know there are cases where people who have committed acts like that and don’t get removed from their communities, but they seem pretty rare.

and while i believe people make mistakes, i could also understand that there are some mistakes that a single community can’t hold healthily.

so this idea, wishing someone else well in their own transformative journey but far away, seems so compelling. it’s part of what prisons and retributive justice get wrong. or at least it’s my perception of what they get wrong. like… a life sentence essentially says that either (a) what someone has done is so wrong that they can’t be never be trusted again in society or (b) that the punishment is so large that it can only be lived out for the rest of ones life (in prison).in both cases, it seems like the idea of true transformation hasn’t been embraced.

but i really like this both/and thing that adrienne has said. it puts forward two ideas that seem really important for us to learn how to hold: (1) we believe that all people have the capacity to transform in time and (2) we can believe that and not want to be anywhere near someone who has harmed us in extreme ways.

really gonna be thinking about this moving forward…

words / writing / post-processing
360w / 13min / 5min