Do we dare engage in this contentious subject? How can we not? The lens of the Supreme Court is finally focused on power by way of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. We see it in the form of accusation, denial, conflicting recall, and investigation. This is our opportunity to learn where our trust has boundaries; where we tighten tolerance; how influenced we are by what and how people say things; and how we form opinions when we will never be sure of the truth.
When it comes to power, is justice blind?
By the time you read this, the FBI report on Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh will likely be known. But please stay with me in this moment of the unknown. We’ve heard contradictory testimonies by Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, and commentary on the facts and circumstances. Most of us are in that place of not knowing who or what to believe — albeit strongly leaning in one direction.
What influences our perspectives?
Are we limited by personal experiences?
Can we ever reach beyond them?
Power is what this hearing is about and we’re worried it won’t include justice.
During our lifetime we alternate in the flip flop of vulnerability and power. Our experiences influence our point of view.
WE’RE STRONGLY INFLUENCED BY SITUATIONS WHEN WE WERE POWERLESS. Being vulnerable puts us in extreme distress. We never forget it. We've all felt helplessly victimized, deeply shamed, and profoundly worthless. We've felt surges of anger that good sense sometimes suppresses until the right moment; fear of recurrence if we do nothing; and grief at the unfair rawness of life. Our survival instinct is to protect and defend anyone in that same circumstance — to stand resolutely aligned with others.
WE’RE EQUALLY INFLUENCED BY SITUATIONS WHEN WE WERE POWERFUL Power too has its drawbacks and pain. When we take a position of power, every human frailty, action, and inaction becomes open to critique. As leaders the expectations of us are all encompassing and unrealistic. They allow no latitude for our learning idiosyncrasies, personality distinctions, or lapses of focus. As leaders we get accused, attacked, and called demeaning names. There's an idea that with power comes thick skin and unerring forgiveness. It's not true. We all sting with the pain of failure, loss, and humiliation. Because of this shared understanding, leaders stand together.
I didn't expect to arrive at this point when I began writing my way out of the morass of emotions this conflict arouses. Democracy is about empowerment; the power of people to choose their leaders. We’re considering the appointment of a judge to the Supreme Court, the highest and final court of record subject to the provisions of the Constitution — a position of supreme power.
Is it possible for all of us to believe that justice will be served?