I’ve got post conference depression. Having just spent 4 days around 500 other Restorative Justice practictioners, its back to reality.
Off the plane and on the shuttle back to my car . . . small talk with a fellow shuttle passenger. We got to the question “what kind of non-profit do you work for”. When asked what I do, and not feeling up to explaining it, I say I work for a non-profit. So there I was trying to explain to a stranger what kind of work I do, and why this makes great sense. It was the start of my post conference depression.
I developed some great friendships at the conference. I found myself drawn to some people because we knew some of the same folks. Not more than 30 minutes after the flight landed and before I was even at the hotel, I met a friend of a friend. The kind of friend, that any friend of yours is a friend of mine.
I’d consider myself a good judge of character and I found some new friends as people of great character. I found some session facilitators to be brilliant, passionate and helpful. Other new friends, we had a great time, because of the fun and teasing over having a beer or two together.
The common denominator in it all we being surronding by others that had a common interest in Restorative Justice. Regardless of if it was happening in Ireland or Western Canada, with schools, fishery departments or with juvenile delinquents, we all held passion for the prOcess.
There was no explaining the basic premise of what RJ is. There was no rationalizing why this was a good idea. Most people assume the present criminal justice system is working just fine. It’s not easy to explain Restorative Justice in a brief a universal way. Unless your at a conference of 500 and then you don’t even have to bother with it!
I’m unpacking my pens and patches from the Irish Police Department (thanks Andy and Finbarr). Looking at my collection of business cards from Tel Aviv, Israel to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I miss my new friends.
I’ve got lots of new stories about Restorative Justice, I’ve got lots of new ideas. I’m home now and it’s time to get back to work. We’ve gotten in two new cases while I was gone. I got a letter and donation from a woman I never met, I helped her over the phone. Oh yes . . . that’s the recommendation to end depression . . . to cross the street and help someone else. Its all so very restorative!
Peace – Kris