Sunday, December 7, 2014

living restoratively

My time in Chicago this past week was well spent.  Eight friends gathered around one of our CCDA sisters, Cheryl Miller, to learn from Cheryl about the critical transformation that takes place when CCDA components intersect with mediation skills and with restorative justice processes and practices.  Real, practical steps toward reconciliation take place when we actively listen, use neutral language, ask good questions, take responsibility, and create safe environments for honest sharing.  

Cheryl provided a handout from Howard Zehr, one of the founders and fathers of the restorative justice movement.  

10 ways to live restoratively by Howard Zehr

1.  Take relationships seriously, envisioning yourself in an interconnected web of people, institutions, and the environment.

2.  Try to be aware of the impact, potential as well as actual, of your actions on others and the environment.

3. When your actions negatively impact others, take responsibility by acknowledging and seeking to repair the harm- even when you could probably get away with avoiding or denying it.  

4.  Treat everyone respectfully, even those you don't expect to encounter again, even those you feel don't deserve it, even those who have harmed or offended you or others.

5.  Involve those affected by a decision, as much as possible, in the decision-making process.

6.  View the conflicts and harms in your life as opportunities.

7.  Listen, deeply and compassionately, to others, seeking to understand even if you don't agree with them.  (think about who you want to be in the latter situation rather than just being right.)

8.  Engage in dialogue with others, even when what  is being said is difficult, remaining open to learning from them and the encounter.  

9.  Be cautious about imposing your "truths" and views on other people and situations.

10.  Sensitively confront everyday injustices including sexism, racism, and classism.  

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