I listened. He was rather emotional and came right out with it: I had hurt him.
“Hurt” was his word and I could see it.
Of course I hadn’t intended to hurt, not by any stretch. And yet I had done precisely that.
I apologized, several times.
From his perspective I could imagine how my actions could be construed as hurtful.
Mistakes were made.
I made some mistakes. I own that.
I will think more carefully in the future. One can only hope.
One of my heroes of community organizing said in an interview:
“The second thing that matters to me as a unit of impact is harm. I want to figure out how to transform harm in every possible context because I have been harmed, and I have harmed other people.” – Mariame Kabe
The idea of transforming harm. How does that happen?
Our conversation continued. We spoke honestly; our defenses put aside. We left the talk knowing each other a little better. That was no mistake.
This is how we begin to transform harm.