The art and science of being restorative.

I explained that Restorative Justice Circles appeared very easy, but were truly a deeper art and science.  That person told me I should write a book.  “Books are for things that seem easy but are actually really hard”.

I think being restorative can be hard.  I appreciate a tool of Restorative Justice levels described by Belinda Hopkins.  Beyond facilitating the process you “be” restorative.

I was rushing out of the alley, driving my car as such.  At the intersection, I looked over and was getting scolding gestures.  I was motioning back and thru the closed car window offering “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you, are you ok, what can I do?”.  My passenger said “just go, it’s half their fault”.  Those two responses side by side demonstrate our default mode to go to the blame piece.

I think that if we can blame and seperate ourselves we feel safer.  Deep down a feeling of safety is going to over ride any other response.  It is in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  As a society I think we have grown more comfortable in responding to rejection as the safety need and need to move more to remembering “safety in numbers”.  By safety in numbers I mean recognizing that we need to have collective responses, we need to have connections to our “belonging”.  Mother Theresa’s thoughts that we have forgotten we belong to each other.

A founding member of SCVRJP used to push for Restorative Justice in education, feeling that we expelled youth at a time when we should be pulling them in, not pushing them away.  I agree.

I believe that we could prevent LOTS and LOTS of crime by responding restoratively to each other.  We don’t live that world right now.  We live in a world where murder happens, and restorative responses are growing for that as well. 

A recent facebook comment included mention of meeting with the man that murdered her father.  It also included the words restorative justice.  A common enough place, facebook, and to see this made me realize how much this field has grown.  Well, it might also reflect who my facebook friends are!

At any rate, it made me think about this art and science of restorative justice and the importance to own it as your personhood, your way of being in the world.  Unfortunately for me, me greatest challenge is in my 1:1 relationships.  Repairing my own harm, instead of blaming him for not acting in a manner I wanted.

I hope you clicked on yesterday’s post to From Death to Life the homecoming page photos really struck me.  I know a few faces in those pictures, and I thought about it after seeing them yesterday.  I can’t wait to fill a table with food and host a celebration like that.  The photos are really good, they are filled with the love of the event.  I think it demonstrates some art and science of being restorative.