Now that's a woman who loves her job! I think she shows up at 3:30 am, or something. I asked her once and she answered, but the answer was such a shock to my system that I have since blocked it. But it's either 3:30 am or something equally ridiculous.
Hat's off to you, Amanda.
Anyway, going on Amanda's show is always a good mental check in--and a good reminder for me that I should practice my "on air" manners more often. There's always one question--one conversation, where I wish I could rewind time and reframe how I say something.
This week I totally wish I could press rewind on several of the conversations, but they were good conversations to have. And maybe the things I said that come out wrong will actually inspire conversation... that's one way to add a silver lining, right?
One of the topics Amanda brought up an Iranian woman who pardoned the man who threw acid on her face, blinding and disfiguring her. The conversation was centered on the impact a person can have through forgiveness, both on others and themselves. During the conversation I'm kind of mean on the subject of personal injury lawyers, and the entitlement Americans feel when they experience pain that can be blamed on another. Except I don't say it that well. I'm pretty ineloquent. I kind of label personal injury lawyers as "Do you hate your neighbor? We can help!" proponents. That's what happens when I try to make points quickly... but point being this: This news story points out that she was coached to forgive the man his sentence to show the world that Iranians are good people, which kind of makes it seem political, but let's take that out of the equation.
What do you think about this form of justice? Do you agree with the decision this woman made to let her attacker walk free without punishment? Do you think the man should be punished in another way that is not so "eye for an eye"? Or do you think the original punishment was appropriate?
I ask this question with other cases in mind. Forgiveness is a beautiful thing, but there is a point where it seems appropriate to make sure criminals aren't allowed to repeat their behaviors.
I hope the comment feature on blogger is working again, because I would really love all your thoughts on this. As anyone who listens to A Woman's View this Sunday will discern, I'm still feeling this subject out, because I just don't know.
On my side, I like to forgive, but I can imagine that stance changes dramatically once you have child to protect and provide for. What I could forgive someone for doing to me, I may prosecute to the fullest extent of the law should I have a child. For example, I've had dogs bite and injure me and left the owners with only with feedback as to how to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.
But is it the right choice? To leave the instance unreported? What if that dog does bite again? A kid maybe, or another dog, or a person, and there is no record of previous violent behavior by the dog.
Did I play a role in the second attack by choosing to "forgive" and sending the message that being a non-vigilant dog owner does not have repercussions?
I've looked back on many instances in my life where I chose "forgiveness" while watching the other person's relief to avoid accountability. But did they learn anything? Did this Iranian man learn anything? Does he feel the impact of being saved the same fate he inflicted on another, or just the relief of not being punished? Will he victimize again, overtly or covertly?
At what point is punishment merited?
I don't know. That's why I'm asking.
What have you experienced when it comes to the balance of mercy and justice? When is mercy appropriate, and when do we throw the book and someone and then bury them with it? At what point are crimes protected by religious beliefs or "harmless" appetites, and at what point to values become universal?
I hope the comment feature is back up, but be sure to copy your text before you press enter so you won't lose it if blogger is being lame.
I look forward to your thoughts :)