Are you out to help others? It takes leaving negativity behind, which isn’t easy.

Have you heard the phrases “she’s out to get you?”  It means someone wants to do you harm, make you look bad.

Do we have the counter phrase going around “she’s out to help you?”.

I think that offenders behave harmfully to others, because of a past harm.  Right or wrong, they act out of a justification.  Some offenders just don’t think ahead or understand how they harmed someone.

What happens along the path to being punished for harmful behavior . . . you see that people are “out to get you”.  It is no longer about examining yourself, it’s about blaming others.

I’ve heard people sure, that the cops are targeting them, the establishment and that being pulled over for drinking and driving was some sort of retributive act, a retaliation.  The next statement has to do with negative for law enforcement or the legal system.  One bold person wanted our agency to pay for his “driving without a license ticket”.  The fact that these people drove drunk, something illegal in the first place gets lost in the mix.

Helping people who are mad at you isn’t easy.  Helping people who see the “system” as a big mean bully . . . not easy.

I’m a “glutton for punishment” I guess.  I consistently try to transform people away from negativity and into a positive experience.

It might be a Circle member, rolling his eyes as Iam explaining the process.  I interpret his body language as “this lady is cu-KOO!”  I have to leave that, keep going.  Sure enough later in the Circle, fully engaged, leaning in and speaking from the heart.

The downside is easy, looking at negativity in people makes us feel better about ourselves.  At least I am guilty of that.  A cop, probation officer and I were chatting before a meeting.  I said I wasn’t feeling very “restorative”, we laughed at the thought of “cynical justice” in place of “restorative justice”.

I’ve been in a down cycle lately.  I called it a post-didn’t get the-grant-depression.  I was questioning all the stress of being an executive director.  Both daughter and boyfriend were shocked at my confessions of wanting a less consuming work enviornment.

So let me admit it in this post.  Restorative Justice is not always easy.  Practicing loving-kindness in the face of harm, you have to consistently be self-aware.  Ignoring negativity and focusing on the positive, well it can get to be old.

But here’s the bottom line, as I take a sip of coffee and read my mug: 

“Do what you like, like what you do”.

I’m “out to help others”.  Will you join me and do the same?