Equality and equity

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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:24 pm

Equality and equity

Post by Nevirha » Sat Sep 23, 2023 3:21 pm

Summary: Nevirha, Mariah, and Lois discuss the role of equity in justice and diplomacy.
POV: Nevirha
Main characters: Nevirha, Lois
Also present: Mariah (also a main character but came into the conversation later)

Nevirha says 'Annoura, summon Lois.'

Annoura Larisen says 'I will send my scribe to summon her, Nevirha.'

Lois rushes in, hair askew.

Nevirha gestures at the doors with her hand.

The olive skin of her arms visibly crisscrossed with various battle scars from a misspent youth in the Rahad, this willowy young woman walks with an obvious limp.

Lois curtseys gracefully.

The door silently swings shut and lock with a soft *click*.

Nevirha says 'Good day, child.'

Lois says 'I received your missive, Nevirha Sedai.'

Nevirha motions towards the chairs.

Lois says 'And came as fast as I could.'

Lois nods in agreement.

Nevirha says 'Please, have a seat.'

Nevirha sits down on a stout oaken chair.

Lois composes herself slightly and sits down.

Lois sits down on a stout oaken chair.

Lois sheathes a ring-quilloned sword into a sword sheath.

Lois blushes.

Nevirha says 'Tell me a bit about yourself and your studies, Accepted.'

Lois says 'Sorry for having my weapon unsheathed in your presence, Nevirha Sedai.'

Nevirha says 'It is quite alright, Accepted. The Hall decided there was no need for Aes Sedai to be so prudish about initiates carrying weapons given the troubled times we live in.'

Lois says 'They are going well...I came down with the flu and had to be bound to my bunk for awhile, but I am feeling a lot better so have been venturing out and catching up on my studies.'

Lois says 'And chores...I owe someone a lot of library books shelved.'

Nevirha says 'We should always be prepared for battle wherever it may find us. Sadly, not even the Tower is safe from criminals and shadowspawn these days.'

Lois nods in agreement.

Lois says 'Unfortunate reality of the times, Nevirha Sedai. I was recently accosted by a myrddraal and some trollocs outside of Tar Valon.'

Lois says 'Luckily the brave men and women of the bridgeguards saved me.'

Nevirha frowns and shakes her head slightly.

Nevirha says 'The shadow grows bold.'

Nevirha says 'And I am glad you are feeling better, child, though I am surprised you did not seek out one of the apprentices of the Yellow Ajah for healing.'

Nevirha emote: Nevirha smiles kindly at Lois.

Lois says 'Well, I did, but sometimes the medicine is worse than the sickness. '

Nevirha arches a delicate brow.

Nevirha says 'Did you find the apprentices had a rough touch?'

Lois says 'I can't say I know enough about the healing arts to gauge that -- all I know is that my nausea was replaced by seemingly interminable fatigue. I know that some might make that trade, but I can't help but wonder if I had just powered through the symptoms, would I have gotten past it quicker than the fog of the fatigue?'

Lois says 'It's tough to say, but there are always gives and takes.'

Lois says 'Though, given the mastery of diplomacy you have, Nevirha Sedai, you must know that better than most.'

Lois smiles happily.

Nevirha says 'The healing does take a lot out of the patient, so I am not surprised you suffered fatigue.'

Lois nods in agreement.

Nevirha says 'And I'm sure the apprentices are still apprentices for a reason. By the time they come to wear the shawl, doubtlessly, they will have mastered the finer touches of the healing.'

Nevirha says 'Either way, I am glad you were able to recover well and go back to your duties in the Tower.'

Lois says 'Oh I'm sure she tried her best, I would not have let her weave on me without it, and all things considered, I am more refreshed now than I had been even prior to my sickness. '

Nevirha says 'I saw you in the library earlier. Did you find any reading pertinent to your individual interests?'

Lois says 'So I do not mean to disparage the efforts.'

Lois thinks hard.

Lois says 'My interests have been gravitating more towards diplomacy and justice, which seem to go somewhat hand in hand. '

Nevirha leans back in her chair, watching you. 'That, they do.'

Nevirha says 'It sounds like perhaps you are finding yourself more aligned to the Gray or the Blue.'

Nevirha emote: Nevirha smiles kindly.

Lois grins evilly.

Lois says 'I have had the same notion and...the question that always comes into my mind is this...'

Lois says 'Justice for whom? And without diplomacy, it's impossible to delineate the middle ground where "justice" lies.'

Nevirha taps her chin thoughtfully.

Nevirha says 'These are interesting questions you ponder, Accepted.'

Nevirha says 'Have you come to any conclusions?'

Lois continues to blabber on, now excited.
Lois says 'Yes!'

Lois says 'Well, conclusions may be the wrong word for it, but I do have, uh...'

Lois says 'Thoughts?'

Nevirha motions for Lois to expand.

Lois says 'I think the distinction ends up being equality compared to, um...'

Lois says '...equity?'

Nevirha nods her head.

Lois says 'Equal justice seems simple enough, but it never seems to consider equity. '

Lois says 'And you cannot derive a position of equity without understanding all the positions and all the stakeholders involved in the process. '

Lois says 'So equal justice without equity, to me, appears to be an unsustainable truism.'

Nevirha says 'And how do you define equity, child?'

Lois says 'Which is to say, everybody may leave happy with equal justice, but nobody stays happy.'

Lois thinks hard.

Lois says 'Good question...I think the best way to describe the distinction is to use an example, I've been using as a proxy for words.'

Lois says 'There's an old field outside of the city and it's fenced in.'

Lois says 'Sometimes the Gaidin play sports there against one another.'

Lois says 'It's fenced in because the Gaidin do not want to make a spectacle of it.'

Lois says 'However, the children from the nearby villages are, understandably, excited to watch the proceedings.'

Lois says 'In order to peer over the fence, these children often bring boxes.'

Lois says 'But here is the kicker -- not every child is the same height.'

Lois grins evilly.

Nevirha smiles, the corners of her eyes crinkling.

Lois says 'So...equality to me would describe every child having the same size box to peer over the fence to watch the Gaidin.'

Lois says 'But if the child's height combined with the box is not enough to peer over the fence...'

Lois says 'What good is equality in the size of the box?'

Nevirha says 'A good example, Accepted. It seems like you have been putting quite a bit of thought into this.'

Lois says 'So when I see one of the teenagers give up his box to a smaller child'

Lois says 'So now, he has no box to stand on (but can see over the fence without it) and the smaller child has two boxes to stand on and he can also see over the fence...'

Lois says 'Well, that is equity to me.'

Nevirha nods her head slightly.

Lois smiles happily.

Lois says 'Sorry, that was a bit more long-winded than I wanted it to be, but my mind wanders at times.'

Nevirha says 'Do you have any thoughts on this issue related to something of more interest to the White Tower?'

Nevirha says 'The Gaidin sparring is obviously of interest to many, but the Aes Sedai certainly deal with more...important...issues.'

Nevirha smiles kindly.

Lois smiles happily.

Lois says 'That's true. There are some things, but I think I need to further build my foundational knowledge before I speak on things of more consequence. Building blocks and all that.'

Lois says 'But to your point...'

Lois says 'The Tower is a force. And when you are a force, you have a responsibility and that is where the conversations around equality and equity become consequential.'

Nevirha says 'Indeed they do.'

Nevirha says 'This is obviously something the Gray Ajah must think about a lot, since we are responsible for negotiating treaties and helping to end wars across the world.'

Lois nods in agreement.

Nevirha says 'When negotiating a treaty, what is fair?'

Lois says 'I can see how it might be the difference between a pause in hostilities and a long fruitful peace, Nevirha Sedai.'

Nevirha says 'Do both parties get the exact same concessions? What if one is clearly the aggressor and the other the defender?'

Lois spreads her palm slightly and notes 'Which is not to say there's no benefit in a pause, right?'

Nevirha runs her hand through her hair.

Nevirha says 'Of course. A pause in hostilities can help calm tempers and lead to more fruitful negotiations.'

Lois says 'Which speaks to having a phased plan.'

Lois says 'Brilliant.'

Nevirha taps her finger on the table. 'I must admit, this is not talk I often hear from Accepted. I am impressed that you are thinking more deeply about issues than just what lies on the surface.'

Lois blushes.

Lois says 'Well, when you are bed-ridden, you have an unfair advantage of having a lot of time with books and your own mind.'

Lois grins shyly.

Nevirha laughs merrily. 'Yes, I suppose that does make a difference.'

Lois says 'I appreciate the compliment, Nevirha Sedai, and I will work hard to be worthy of it.'

Nevirha says 'My sister Mariah has just awoken and expressed interest in joining us momentarily if you do not have further chores to do.'

Lois says 'All my chores are caught up with for the day, fortunately. '

Nevirha says 'Glad to hear it.'

Lois's stomach grumbles.

Lois says 'With your leave, Sedai?'

Lois weaves her hands, creating a hearty meal in the process.

Nevirha says 'Mariah Sedai always has useful insight, and I think she can add to this conversation.'

Lois weaves her hands, creating a hearty meal in the process.

Lois nods in agreement.

Lois eats a strange fruit.

Lois eats a strange fruit.

Lois says 'Would you like a fruit, Nevirha Sedai?'

Lois gets a leather water flask from a soft leather pouch.

Nevirha says 'I am alright for now. Thank you, Accepted.'

Lois weaves her hands, creating a flow of water that fills a leather water flask.

Lois drinks water from a leather water flask.

Lois drinks water from a leather water flask.

Lois puts a crystal lightstick in a soft leather pouch.
Lois puts a leather water flask in a soft leather pouch.

Someone knocks on the carveddoor from the other side.

Nevirha says 'Perhaps while we are waiting for Mariah Sedai, you can run to the kitchens and bring us some proper food and drink?'

Nevirha gestures with her hand.

The door smoothly swings open.

Nevirha says 'Or perhaps she is already here.'

Nevirha snickers softly.

Lois smiles happily.

Mariah has arrived from the east.

Lois clambers to her feet.

Lois curtseys before Mariah.

Nevirha gestures at the doors with her hand.

Nevirha says 'Ah, Sister!'

Lois says 'Greetings, Mariah Sedai.'

The door silently swings shut and lock with a soft *click*.

Lois sits down on a stout oaken chair.

Mariah inclines her head toward the Accepted.

Lois clambers to her feet.

Nevirha says 'I have been having the most interesting conversation with this Accepted.'

Lois blushes.

Mariah says 'Hello, Sister!'

Nevirha says 'Could you please give Mariah Sedai a short summary of our discussion so far, Accepted?'

Mariah raises an eyebrow but doesn't say anything.

Lois says 'Of course, Nevirha Sedai.'

Mariah takes a seat, giving her attention to the Accepted.

Lois says 'Mariah Sedai, we had been discussing my interests and I indicated an interest in both justice and diplomacy and how one does not seem possible without the other.'

Lois says 'And I expressed the notion that it comes down to the concept of equality versus that of equity.'

Lois says 'And diplomacy is the necessary scaffolding for understanding what comprises equity because, well, equality is a relatively easy concept that almost becomes a truism in practice.'

Lois says 'Equitable outcomes are more sustainable while pure and simple equal treatment may not address underlying issues that can fester and create resurgence of hostilities.'

Mariah asks a question while seated 'How do you define equity, child?

Nevirha muses, 'We are of one mind.'

Lois says 'I gave Nevirha Sedai an example of it in action, and I can do the same. But without subjecting Nevirha Seadi to the same anecdote, I think the difference comes down to equal treatment versus equal outcome. '

Lois says 'Maybe I can expand with an attenuated and briefer version of that anecdote you already heard for Mariah Sedai's benefit, Nevirha sedai?'

Lois smiles and looks to Nevirha Sedai.

Nevirha motions for the Accepted to continue.

Lois' grin broadens.

Lois says 'We discussed how the Gaidin play sports on a field during their off-duty hours just outside of the city and children flock to peer over the fence to the field. '

Lois says 'They often stand on boxes to get a better view, but children being children, come in different shapes, sizes, and heights.'

Lois says 'Equality would be giving each child one box to stand on, regardless of their height.'

Lois says 'Equity would be giving each child the number of boxes they require to see over the fence.'

Lois says 'What good is one box if you can't attain what you need? In this case, to see over the fence.'

Lois says 'It's equality, but what does it actually achieve?'

Mariah says 'Thank you, Child. You have shown you know the difference. Let's discuss how that equates to justice, diplomacy, and their suggested interdependence.'

Lois nods in agreement.

Nevirha leans further back into her chair.

Lois says 'Well, we have seen the term that justice is blind, but that, again, strikes me as a truism.'

Lois says 'Justice isn't blind - Justice should have an eye towards punishments fitting the crime, with mitigating factors.'

Mariah leans back in her chair, hands folded together as she listens.

Lois says 'A system of justice cannot claim to be equitable if it turns a blind eye to the specifics. It strikes me as lazy. A small, hungry child stealing a piece of bread is not the same as hardened criminals swinging knives at innocents, for example. '

Lois says 'And if the purpose of justice is indeed to maintain a social fabric, it simply cannot ignore these distinctions.'

Lois says 'That being generally accepted, it's a natural segue into the interplay with diplomacy --'

Lois says 'From my studies, I have noted that lasting peace is a function of how just different parties view the outcomes.'

Lois says 'Without the role of diplomacy to assess specific circumstances and stakeholders, it's impossible to get a better idea of what a truly equitable outcome even looks like.'

Lois thinks for a moment.

Mariah leans forward slightly as she hears the tie-in to diplomacy and relations.

Lois says 'If I had to summarize, the information gathered on diplomatic efforts often informs what equitable justice might be for various parties and that itself feeds right back into diplomatic solutions that are sustainable rather than shaky.'

Lois nods to herself, she must need reassurance.

Lois says 'That is more or less where we left it before you joined us, Mariah Sedai.'

Lois smiles shyly.

Nevirha nods her head slightly.

Mariah says 'I see. So you are not saying that all diplomatic dealings must be equitable, but that what you learn in statecraft informs the mechanisms of Justice.'

Mariah strokes the arm of the chair gently as she considers the ramifications.

Lois says 'Well, that was my initial thought, but Nevirha Sedai described a wrinkle in that based on her wealth of knowledge that I had not fully considered.'

Lois says 'Sometimes, the reality is as simple as taking what you can get and having a plan for the next phase.'

Lois says 'So while all diplomatic dealings ideally shoot for equity, as you noted, sometimes equality and a pause is good enough to move things towards the next phase, which can address equity.'

Mariah says 'Can you go more into how performing equitable justice feeds back into our diplomatic dealings?'

Lois says 'To put it bluntly, it's okay to stop the arrows from shooting if it buys you some time for something more sustainable.'

Lois nods in agreement.

Lois says 'Of course, Mariah Sedai.'

Lois says 'I think if we pare it back to the root cause of strife, you can simplify it down to the following truth: somebody or a lot of somebodies feel as though an injustice has been visited upon them.'

Mariah says 'perceived or real, it matters less in our field.'

Lois nods in agreement.

Lois says 'Exactly!'

Lois blushes at her own outburst.

Nevirha says 'Many of the most difficult dealings are with people who perceive there has been injustice when there has been none.'

Nevirha says 'How does one rectify an injustice that does not exist in reality?'

Lois says 'That may be a question for more versed minds than me, but at some point, I have to think reality sets in.'

Mariah says 'It can be tough to prove that something they think exists, does not in fact exist. Instead that is where diplomacy must come into play rather than research.'

Nevirha nods her head in agreement with Mariah.

Lois nods in agreement.

Mariah places her hand on the table, her mouth opening slightly.

Lois says 'I am in the presence of greater minds than me when it comes to diplomatic efforts, obviously, but my impression has always been that diplomacy requires a strong level of pragmatism. '

Lois says 'And sometimes that means there is a point where diplomacy is no longer a cure-all.'

Lois says 'Apologies, Mariah Sedai, you looked as if you were going to say something.'

Mariah says 'I would like to bring the discussion back to the topic of equity during diplomatic dealings..'

Lois blushes.

Lois nods in agreement.

Mariah says 'I think you are correct when you say that justice should strive for equity.'

Lois says 'Well, this may be more of a truth in concept and books rather than in practical reality, but the very ideal diplomatic outcome is one of lasting peace. '

Lois says 'My impression is that lasting peace does not happen without addressing the root causes of conflict.'

Mariah says 'Lets scope diplomatic outcomes to the scale of dealings with nations at the level that Nevirha and I handle on a more regular basis.'

Lois says 'Root causes do not get addressed without understanding what an equitable solution is for all.'

Mariah says 'When I am dealing with a nation on behalf of the White Tower, am I really trying to get to an equitable solution? Or am I trying to get the best terms for the white tower, Child?”

Lois smiles happily.

Lois says 'That's a good question but from my perspective one and the same. The Tower serves all. The best terms for the White Tower are almost definitively the ideal terms for all. We have our interests, sure, but it is always for the greater good. We are bound to that.'

Lois begins coughing.

Nevirha says 'That is an interesting perspective, Accepted, and not one I disagree with.'

Mariah looks over at Nevirha.

Lois says 'I apologize, Aes Sedai, but I must retreat to my chambers, my coughing fit appears to be starting up again.'

Nevirha says 'The Tower does serve for the good of all humanity, and keeping the Tower strong ensures the world is strong and ready for the Last Battle.'

Nevirha frowns slightly.

Lois smiles happily.

Nevirha says 'I do hope you feel better, Accepted. This flu seems to be something else entirely.'

Lois says 'Thank you, Nevirha Sedai'

Nevirha says 'I look forward to meeting again.'

Lois curtseys gracefully.

Lois says 'With your leave'

Mariah defers to her Sister.

Lois smiles happily.

Nevirha nods in agreement.

Lois says 'thanks'

Nevirha gestures with her hand.

Nevirha says 'Be well, child.'

The door smoothly swings open.

Lois curtseys gracefully.

Lois leaves east.

Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: Equality and equity

Post by Nevirha » Sat Sep 23, 2023 3:21 pm

Note: I already awarded Lois 3 rpqps for her participation.

Posts: 250
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:54 pm

Re: Equality and equity

Post by Gesin » Thu Oct 05, 2023 1:07 pm

Nevirha and Mariah have been awarded.

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