Due Process

Something seems to have gone amiss as of late. The concept of fairness. Due process is defined as “A fundamental guarantee that all legal proceedings will be fair and that one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away one’s life, liberty, or property.” Due process involves both procedural and substantive aspects. We all want this. We all want to be treated fairly. However, that right and reason seem to disappear when our own emotions and biases get in the way. We see this a lot in politics, and the criminal justice field.

But, we see it in all areas of life, because we’re human. We even see it in therapy. Say, for example, you and your husband/wife go to see a therapist. That therapist sees one of you first (maybe because the other couldn’t make it to that appointment but will be present at the next- say a mandatory work meeting came up and if missed there would be consequences). Ok. So the therapist hears your side of the “story” and states you have some points. Due process requires the therapist to hear the other side to be fair and equal. If not the partner is automatically assumed guilty. That clearly isn’t the therapeutic process in couples therapy. Each person has a right to be heard, acknowledged and guided. Of course, this isn’t to say responsibility and accountability isn’t part of this process because it’s a huge part of the therapeutic process (but that’s for another blog- I’m staying simple with this one).

Point is, we need to be fair in all matters. When our emotions and biases get in the way we become ill-informed and we lose the balance of what’s right (and what’s wrong).

Fact of the matter is that people do lie (both males and females). So when our attention gets sucked up in public hearings (such as Kavanaugh) let’s take a moment and reflect on the concept of “due process” and try to put emotions aside as we are dealing with people’s lives. And, remember, that we need to objectively look at all sides and get out of the divisive mindset of males versus females. The “us against them” mentality. We’re human beings before we are a gender, race, religion etc.

Today make this your mantra “everyone, including me, deserves fairness.”

I personally think there is a freedom in looking at things objectively rather than subjectively.