The concept of “begets” and the application to crime and restorative justice.

Begets – as I understand it means to create.

I first started using this term, almost two years ago.  When training or teaching Restorative Justice, I repeat something I read, I believe by Thich Naht Hanh, which was “violence begets violence”.  This made sense to me.  The piece I teach is from James Gilligan, that exclusion is a form of violence.  Violence is anything that violates the integrity of another person.  SO when we kick kids out a classroom or a school, it should be a natural assumption they would respond with violence.

Several months ago, I was reading some parenting book/article/on-line resource.  It made a brain post-it, but I can’t recall the source.  The point was that if you want compassion from your kid, approach them with compassion.  If you want respect, be respectful.  I immediately thought of the “begets” link.  Love begets love.  Peace begets peace.  Okay, I can do this.

I forgot yesterday and started chewing my kid out for forgetting a dvd at home, and racking up late charges on my account.  She ‘begetted’ me back with a lecture of her own.

I’m reading, “In the Meantime” by Iyanla Vanzant.  and you guessed it, she says “confusion begets confusion”.  She is explaining how two people get together, and neither one really knows what they want.  The word “begets” makes another appearance in my life.

Other bits of wisdom that let me know this is true:  “you reap what you sew” and the concept of ‘karma’ can come down to the word ‘begets’ if you boil it down.

So, restoratively, if crime is harm, then harm begets harm?  When I think of the punitive model, do the crime, do the time, then yes, I guess harm begets harm.  The punishment is a reaction to the crime, if you get caught anyway.  I don’t have a point here, I am chewing this idea over myself.

What about ‘begetting’ as it relates to victims?   When victims select to participate in restorative justice what exactly are they ‘begetting’.  I think each victim has unique needs.  Do they come seeking peace, and then peace begets peace.  Do they come seeking healing, and the healing begets healing.

Who is this ‘begetting’ happening for?  Back to the victim, so they find layers and layers? Or is it flowing out to the offender and community members?  One of the Restorative Justice facilitator?  Maybe one stage of healing brings you a layer closer to another?

I know when community members participate in restorative justice, that volunteering reminds them how valuable they are in relationships.  This was reinforced while reading Dating from the Inside Out, the author suggests volunteering to reader, for this purpose to remember how important you are in relationships.  So does acting in relationship values then, beget relationships values.

Holy cow, I think questions beget questions!