I just attended a Restorative Justice conference in Rochester. You may not yet be aware that there are pockets of the world where people are approaching justice in a way that actually restores the aggrieved, the offender and the broader community impacted by the crime.
Restorative Justice goes far beyond punitive and retributive justice (our North American justice system) and even beyond ‘repair-ative’ justice. This system, pioneered by Dominic Barter in the ghettos of Brazil, has had a transformative impact on gang wars, prison violence, schools and youth drug addiction.
Restorative Justice engages the offended, the offender and the larger community in a form of dialogue that is strikingly authentic and powerfully transformative. I am intrigued about this phenomenon for one simple reason, and it’s the reason I wrote Love at Work: I want to build a better world. Restorative justice is a great example of how that happens. Let me use a metaphor to unpack this idea.
Think of a raging river, roaring and foaming its way downstream. Does it have power? Yes, immense power. But it’s not a particularly useful form of power. If we were to be able to install a dam and a turbine, we could transform all that power into useful energy – the kind of energy that could power a hospital or a university.
Restorative Justice does the same thing – it places itself right in the middle of the stream of hatred, bitterness and vengeance and installs a system that transforms all that destructive energy into something useful – the kinds of actions that restore people and allow them to become or return to the place of contributing to society.
Love at work is all about that very activity – stepping into our business tensions and extending ourselves to invest in another’s highest good. When we practice that at work, we learn how to do it more effectively for our communities and ultimately, for our planet. That builds a better world.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
Vice President, Business Development
Business Development, Juice USA
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