Thanks friends at Cool(intl)! In 2008 you helped SCVRJP with our DVD project, again in 2009 you created another set of DVD’s for us. We partnered with MN Public Televison and the Allstate Foundation, to produce On the Road Together: Safe Teen Driving. Today your electronic newsletter arrived, caught my attention, I checked out your blog, and found this gem from Seth Godin. Thanks for being an agency that helped our non-profit! Great doing business with you!
I love the perspective of “real” relationships. Restorative Jusitce is about relationships. I like the proactive aspect, building positive relationships to prevent harm. I spend more time in repairing harm in relationships, and usually the relationship is the victim-offender relationship. Unfortunately the ‘trauma-bond’ of crime is the element of that relationship. ( I want to go off on that, but I will stay with the social media – relationship perspective)
Seth talks about the way to real relationships, is going “out of your way” for someone. I get that. I do go out of my way, and I have lots of relationships where people have gone out of their way for me.
I go out of my way for vicitms willing to go out of their way for community. See vicitms meeting with offenders, is an investment in the community. It helps offenders understand and learn from the harmful behavior. Victims are willing to share how they were hurt, they open the wound to show people how deep the cut was. Healing takes courage, healing takes looking deep inside and offering yourself a better choice. You have to go out of your way to get better. Cause not going out of your way means you are staying the same. I go out of my way for victims, any chance I get.
I go out of my way for offenders, because I feel like they might not have been listened to before. The system responds to the legal aspect of their behavior. Restorative Justice responds to the emotional aspects. An offender shared that his girlfriend was impacted when he had to go to jail. His niece was impacted, because she witnessed him being violent. The young man was sent to restorative justice for assualting his nephew. His nephew was beating up his brother, so he came to his brothers aid, and acknowledged that he was doing the same thing his nephew did. Later in the Circle a community member, shared the pieces I just shared as examples of how the offender demonstrated ‘love’ one of the values of our circle. He showed love for his girlfriend and niece by understanding how they were impacted.
I go out of my way for community members. Community members go out of their way for restorative justice. Instead of watching night two of American Idol, or studying for a final, or spending time at the cabin, restorative justice volunteers/community members come to help. They sit in Circle with strangers, and open up during getting acquainted and building relationship stages of Circle. They then bear witness and listen to the stories of harmful behavior. They speak wise words to help support future behavior that is harm free.
Who goes out of their way for you? Who are you willing to go out of your way for? I’ve found when I extend myself for others it actually helps me and gives me a sense of belonging. Doesn’t it feel great to belong?