I just finished watching an episode of Blue Bloods. It left me feeling disappointed and a little confused about my own judgement of people.
In the episode a young woman asks Tom Selleck’s character, the Police Commissioner, to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. They had met when she was 6 and the only survivor of an attack on her family. The man that killed her family has written to her asking for her to visit so he can make amends. She will never forgive him and neither will the Commissioner.
They both go to see him. He walks in a shell of a man expecting nothing. She spews her hatred at him. She tells him she wishes he was dead. He explains that he does too. When he was first incarcerated the doctors diagnosed him with Paranoid Schizophrenia, he was hearing voices all the time. They got him on medication. He started to remember what he had done and tried to kill himself several times. He finally found some peace by helping other inmates like him. There was still no understanding or forgiveness for him. The young woman told him to try again and get it right this time. The Commissioner agreed.
Is this what we want? Yes he committed a horrific crime. He was paying for it. No one had to forgive him, be didn’t expect it. But some kind of understanding being shown would’ve helped the shows take on mental illness. Not hatred and more dying. Would I have been able to offer someone like him at least some acknowledgement that I understood if it was my family? I don’t know. I would like to think so.