Linking to a great blog, Zen Habits

I was drifting around the internet searching out successful bloggers.  I ran into Zen Habits, featured on a list.  Only a few minutes on the site and I joined the 100,000 others that are subscribed to this blog.

As I read the post The World Needs You to Do What You Love,  I thought about how to do a post on my blog about how loving my job, and being passionate about Restorative Justice, fuels good things.  I decided to offer my take on how Restorative Justice, helps relevant to the 7 items Johnathan Mead, lays out in the World Needs You post.

Mead’s list of 7 things.

  1. Find your passion. 
  2. Find your strengths.
  3. Find your value.  
  4. Make the commitment.
  5. Be willing to let go.
  6. What will you give up?
  7. Will you say Yes to yourself?

Here how Restorative Justice, specifically speaks to doing what your love.

  1. Find your passion.  Are you interested in repairing harm, building community or helping people heal.  Restorative Justice allows you to express a passion that can be pro-active or reactive.  There are many ways to do restorative justice, facilitating a circle is different than facilitating a conference.  Find the piece that speaks to your heart.
  2. Find your strengths. Maybe your strength is in vicitm empathy or maybe it’s in helping offenders with a blind-spot.  Is your strength in preparing to conference parties.  Your strength is going to be where you feel most natural.  Doing Restorative Justice means lots of areas for skills, you work harder on the ones that don’t come naturally.  Apply your strengths to restorative justice.  One of my strengths, I think, is being accepting of others.  I use that in listening, and that’s important in restorative justice.
  3. Find your value.   Do you understand how you are contributing to the great good, by volunteering or working in Restorative Justice.  Have you connected with why you are doing Circles in your classroom.  This is the value in the work.  The value you bring to your community might be understanding.  The value might be reducing crime.  The value could be healing vicitms.  Find the value, YOU best contribute, by doing restorative justice.
  4. Make the commitment. Decide if it’s just a year that you will try something.  Keep the committment.  I have a volunteer that gives me two events a month.  I love that she has found her niche’ with SCVRJP, and keeps a committment to helping the program out.  You could commit to learning everything you can about Circles, Restorative Justice Theory or history.
  5. Be willing to let go. If you are going to live with passion, you live taking risks.  Passionate people can get tunnel vision if we aren’t careful.  Passion runs hot, and sometimes you have to realize you don’t know everything before you can learn something new.  Be ready to let go of old, as you learn.  Restorative Justice does not leave the practitioner unchanged.
  6. What will you give up?  Restorative Justice takes time.  Restorative Justice means running in a little smaller circle (that’s my experience).  You may have to give up old methods, going with the formal system.  Decide your boundaries and prepare to let something go – to make room for the growth that will result in doing more restorative justice.
  7. Will you say Yes to yourself?  Restorative Justice changes lives.  It changes you when you are faced with helping people be non-judgemental.  When you are holding empathy for another person, you release your own “stuff” to be fully present.  You will learn more about who you are.  You will find your soft spots and you will need to say ‘yes’ to learning.  Saying Yes to growth, is saying Yes to yourself.

Sometimes you will mess up.  I’ve messed up.  And the best I can do it to look at my ‘mess-up’ and try to be restorative with it.  That means for me to try and repair the harm.  To be accountable and understand another persons point of view.  Find where I had a choice, make steps to make amends and then take action to change.  I’m willing to do that.

If you left a comment here on Friday.  I heard you.  Thank you.