SCVRJP runs Victim Impact Panels, comparable to a MADD Victim Impact Panel. At SCVRJP we introduce Restorative Justice, the healing power of listening and telling stories. Our speakers are typically a victim and an offender. We also have survivors, like a parent whose child died and community members, like a first responder. We ask our audience to ‘center’ and be present for the listeners. I have never actually attended a MADD Panel, so I can’t speak to what they do. Like MADD panels, our audience is court ordered to attend. If you want your drivers license reinstated, you have to attend.
I get a variety of responses from callers wanting to attend or register, verify the event. I always mention the ‘breathalizer’. There might be one person at every other panel, that I need to ask to come back a different time. There is an awesome story, about this I’ll post here.
Yesterday I took a call from a young man with an upbeat attitude. When I mentioned the breathalizer he said “not a problem, we’re past that stage“. I loved his positive attitude. I loved he said “we’re” he included me. Maybe he meant himself and his inner self. I know that sounds corny, but why did he use a plural form??? This caller also reminded me that as human’s we are in a contantly changing state. We get a new stage every day! Some of us need a few stages per day. It made my day and got me realizing how the littlest of things makes the biggest difference. When I googled “cheerful countenance” today I thought a Ben Franklin quote would show up. Instead I found Proverbs.
A glad heart maketh a cheerful countenance; But by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13
When we approach life with a positive countenance we can really impact others. Look at the impact that caller on me. Another example of a postive countenance is how my volunteers responded to an issue at a Victim Impact Panel. Participants are anxious about attending and the sign in sheet would be scribbled signatures I could not read. This made it very difficult to verify if John Justice attended when I can’t read his name.
One of my volunteers with a Cheerful Countenance took it upon herself to print every single name! That result was a big stone in the pond and the ripples were very postive. Now each name is easy to read and every time I look at the sign in sheet it makes me happy.
Countenance is a long word and it has a powerful impact.