....People participating in Restorative Justice, seem to get more when they understand that the intention behind the process is one of help or healing. It seems our process can go further and deeper when people see Restorative Justice as competent. Some victims are able to step outside of the victim role, and see that perhaps the intentions of the offender were not of malice but more of an error in judgment, a mistake. Mistakes have consequences, mistakes don’t mean you are free from being accountable to your behavior. The majority of offenders do take a well-intended approach to repairing the harm. They may not always be competent in empathy or understanding, but that is where the restorative justice process helps.
The majority of victims are also well-intended in the restorative justice process. I have dealt with a few that wanted to use the process for shaming or punishing. Sometimes people harmed can forget to look at the greater context of the human family, as they are focused on their specific wound. Even in extreme circumstances some victims can trust.
....I work hard at the reputation at our non-profit and I am aware that building relationships takes that. I so appreciate the two pieces I learned today, that being well-intended and competent (or at very least being perceived as such) are cornerstones to trust.
I am sure those around me will appreciate me assuming they are well-intended, and well as making sure I behave out of good intentions. Never underestimate the power of maintaining and building trust, as a person or a non-profit.