Paula Yoo Quote
I was listening to the podcast My Favorite Murder (episode 405) the other day and heard this really important quote by Paula Yoo, “You can have compassion, but compassion is no mutually exclusive from justice. At the end of the day, now that I know the humanity behind these two men, I can have compassion for them. But I can still think, you still should have gone to jail, what you did was wrong. Justice was not served.”
This episode was talking about the murder of Vincent Chen, but it is equally applicable to trauma work and trauma healing and it is something that is bypassed or down played by the expectation that those who have been wronged should forgive and forget.
This goes out especially to those who have been harmed by loved ones. You can have compassion and understanding for why a person acted out or engaged in harm, AND they can still be held accountable.
You can understand your parents’ trauma and still have boundaries around what type of behavior you will not tolerate or having no contact with them.
We have this unhealthy dichotomy taught to us by society that it’s either understanding and compassion, forgiveness, and grace OR it’s justice, boundaries, anger, and holding someone accountable.
This is a false dichotomy and frankly unhealthy. It is not either/or, it needs to be both/and. How much of each will depend on the people involved, the situation, and their values.