[Spoiler alert for anyone who has not watched the last episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Do NOT keep reading.]
Watching the last two episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was a somewhat painful reminder that the truth is subjective. We all live in our own realities, and the Reverend was doing a great job convincing the courtroom that his version of reality was the same as theirs by positioning himself as someone who shared their values:
Last time I checked, faith wasn’t a crime in this country…so why am I being tried for my belief that the Apocalypse is coming? …the only thing I’m guilty of is trying to save these girls from the End of Days! I just done goofed up and got the date wrong! Now, if being bad at math is against the law, well then lock me up! -Rev. Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, Episode 11: “Kimmy Rides a Bike!”
In conflict resolution, we learn that peace and justice are not always compatible. Post-conflict reconciliation is a major focus within the field of conflict resolution, and it is probably one of the most challenging goals to achieve. When learning about different processes of reconciliation, and how difficult it can be for people who have spent years immersed in violence to resume a normal life, my thoughts turned to the epilogue of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
The death of Voldemort would not have been enough to bring a long-term peace to the wizarding world. Only a transformation of relationships among the former enemies could. The fact that Draco and his family were given a chance to participate equally in the post-conflict world, that he could acknowledge Harry and his friends without any display of aggression, and Hermione’s refusal to poison the relationships of the next generation, all provide evidence that the transformation of relationships has occurred.