The long lasting impact of a ‘positive countenance’.

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.