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Druidry And Quiet Justice

Druidry And Quiet Justice

Going in guns blazing to right wrongs can feel exciting. I’ve seen people doing this when it was obvious that they were getting a real thrill out of it, and quite an ego boost.

There can also be a strong sense of involvement, group belonging and team affiliation that comes from going on a crusade against the ‘bad guy’. This can all be easily harnessed to enable bullying. 

Abusers don’t just work on their victims. Most abusers will groom all of the people around them, because this facilitates the abuse. It’s the half a dozen people you’ve been really nice to who are most likely to help you deal with the awful person in your life, after all. However nasty it gets, no one wants to believe they were duped into assisting a bully, so there are incentives to keep blaming the victim and keep asserting that everything is ok.

Justice often requires a quieter, more thoughtful approach. The invitation to go in and righteously smite someone is always worth questioning. I advocate for taking the time to look carefully at the power dynamics in a situation. Bullying depends on power imbalances. I don’t have much sympathy for people who write articles in national newspapers to complain about how they’ve been cancelled.

Perhaps the hardest thing to square up to, is how to act when you start to think you’ve been on the wrong side of something. This is a consideration around political allegiances, social movements, and personal relationships. If you’re interested in honour, then owning the mistake is an essential first move.

I think it’s incredibly important to give people the chance to do better at the point when they know better. If someone admits a mistake, there has to be room for them to move forwards. There has to be a willingness to fix things, and the focus here should be on restorative justice. 

If someone has been harmed, then it should not be on the harmed person to facilitate whatever is restorative. Forgiveness is a blessing, not a right and no one should feel under pressure to forgive someone who has harmed them. Sometimes, rehabilitation requires more of a community approach. There are times when justice means holding space and including someone who has previously messed up so that they have the scope to do better.

Anger shows us where the problems are – or it can. Anger can help us hold boundaries and to protect ourselves. It’s also an emotion that is easily manipulated, especially when you are to be angry as part of a group and affirm your group membership through the expression of anger. This can all too easily lead to bullying and violence. If being angry is making you feel good, it’s worth treating that with some suspicion.

If your interest is in justice, rather than self protection, then it’s often better handled quietly and over time. Restorative justice isn’t usually achieved by quick fixes. I’m not even slightly convinced that punishment is a form of justice – except perhaps around poetic justice where people bring it upon themselves through their own actions. Punishment is all about power imbalance, and tends to entrench power imbalances, and it is more often the case that those imbalances are actually unjust of themselves.

Credit

druid life

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings.
Credit: druidlife.wordpress.com
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