Clear minds. Open hearts. Empowered Wills

We are at our best when our minds are clear, our hearts open and we have full agency over our will.

Largely rooted in adversarialism, competition and combat, our various social, economic and political systems and, certainly our legal system have us living and operating with less coherence than we should, with fearful hearts and therefore inflamed nervous systems and generally with very low agency. So we go about our lives with medicine being done to us or for us rather than with us. Justice is done to us or for us rather than with us. And we could say the same to varying degrees for the way we parent, our economic structures and of, course the way we do politics.

We are surrounded by high-combat, low agency systems that do not foster clear mindedness, open heartedness and empowered wills.

Using alternative dispute resolution systems, we could promote discursive processes (like mediation) in all our systems. This is how we help to push power back to the people-this is how we empower individuals so that we work towards justice co-created, health and well-being co-created, politics co-created and so on. We reduce fear, we increase co-herence and we re-learn how to use our free will in the service of humanity.

 Clear minds. Open hearts. Empowered Wills

In peace,

Sheena Jonker

sheena@adr-networksa.co.za

[i] With thanks and apologies to Charles Dickens

[ii] For previous blogs: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THE TIME OF COVID 19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and ADR, HUMAN RIGHTS AND COVID-19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and LOCKDOWN-RELATED DISPUTES AND THE ROLE OF ADR | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za)

[iii] Kenneth Cloke, ‘Politics, Dialogue and the Evolution of Democracy’

[iv] http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/restorative-justice-state-capture-and-corruption/ and

http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/dudu-myeni/

 

Healers

What if

Parents saw themselves as healers

Teachers saw themselves as healers

Lawyers saw themselves as healers

Mediators saw themselves as healers

Business owners saw themselves as healers

Doctors saw themselves as healers

If the work of healing is a commitment to the whole

If ‘holy’ shares the same root as ‘healed’ and ‘whole’

Then it follows that it is absolutely vital that more of us see ourselves as

Healers

In peace,

Sheena Jonker

sheena@adr-networksa.co.za

[i] With thanks and apologies to Charles Dickens

[ii] For previous blogs: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THE TIME OF COVID 19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and ADR, HUMAN RIGHTS AND COVID-19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and LOCKDOWN-RELATED DISPUTES AND THE ROLE OF ADR | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za)

[iii] Kenneth Cloke, ‘Politics, Dialogue and the Evolution of Democracy’

[iv] http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/restorative-justice-state-capture-and-corruption/ and

http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/dudu-myeni/

 

The Birth of New Systems Rooted in Restorative Justice, Transformative Justice and Healing Part 1: The Resurgence of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

 

The Birth of New Systems Rooted in Restorative Justice, Transformative Justice and Healing
Part 1: The Resurgence of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

The word ‘Indigenous’ has its etymological roots in indo from the Latin and Endina from the Greek.
Both iundicate the emergence from the very entrails of a place. 1 Gen indicates birth and geni spirit.
So, we can say that ‘indigenous’ is related to beings, wordlviews, values, ways of life and ways of
knowing engendered from and belonging to a land that existed before the conquisita and
colonization. 2
Indigenous peoples and knowledge systems are not homogenous. However, Davis says that their
axiologies, cosmologies, epistemologies and ontologies are strikingly similar across diverse
geographies and cultures across the globe. 3
Modern Restorative Justice emerges against the backdrop of heightened awareness that indigenous
knowledge systems grounded in an ecological ethos of inter-relatedness and collaboration have
much to offer our fractured world.
For more than Five Hundred Years Western Systems have brought us separation, competition and
subordination and have contributed to a crisis that imperils our future. 4 The destruction wrought by
systems of separation, hierarchy and competition can be felt in our bodies, our families,
communities and by animals, plant life, water and the earth. 5
The magnitude of destruction has us seeking alternative worldviews-ones that transform, restore
and heal. 6
It is in this context and against this backdrop that we see the rise of restorative justice,
transformative justice and abolitionist thought.
This resurgence fulfils a prophecy: during the 1500s, Native American Elders gathered in Mexico in
the early days of the onslaught of European Colonization. The Aztec Ruler predicted 500 years of
‘Dark Sun’. At the end of this, there would be a ‘Bright Sun’ of Human Consciousness. 7
It was also predicted that the condor signifying the South and Feminine and lunar energies would fly
with the Eagle signifying the North and Masculine and solar energies.
The prediction was that at the time of the Bright Sun, the two would re-unite and the ancient
knowledge of the earth would re-emerge from all four directions.
During the five hundred year period (the period of the Dark Sun), we have had the Papal Doctrine of
Discovery which sanctioned the conquest and subjugation of indigenous people across the earth, the
International Slave Trade, the Genocide of Native Americans, individualism, materialism and the
emergence of racial capitalism and the very notion of race itself. 8
According to this prophecy, we are moving into the period of the ‘Bright Sun’ and it is my view that
Restorative Justice will become the ground of being of all our systems-parenting, schooling,
workplace, economics, politics, the legal system and health.
In order to see its full expression in our systems, transformative justice and abolition will give us the
courage to identify systems that are not in service to humanity, abolish them and establish new
ones.

In my next piece on this, I will African Indigenous Justice against Western ideas on harm and
punishment and I will argue that we could establish superior systems if we learned African
Indigenous Knowledge systems

In peace,

Sheena Jonker

sheena@adr-networksa.co.za

[i] With thanks and apologies to Charles Dickens

[ii] For previous blogs: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THE TIME OF COVID 19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and ADR, HUMAN RIGHTS AND COVID-19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and LOCKDOWN-RELATED DISPUTES AND THE ROLE OF ADR | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za)

[iii] Kenneth Cloke, ‘Politics, Dialogue and the Evolution of Democracy’

[iv] http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/restorative-justice-state-capture-and-corruption/ and

http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/dudu-myeni/

 

1 The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice, Fania E Davis (2019) Good Books p21
2 Davis, supra
3 Davis, Supra
4 Davis, Supra
5 Davis, Supra
6 Davis, Supra
7 Davis, Supra
8 Davis, Supra

Care Over Cure

Care over Cure

If we take an honest look around us, we partake in a lot of actions that help us to endure the distress of the systems we form part of.

An individual in an abusive situation may be told he or she needs to attend to their mental health. Whether we address this idea of working towards mental health by medicating the individual’s symptoms of distress (anxiety and/or depression) or we approach his or her distress seemingly more holistically and we indicate sleep, a good diet and exercise in the name of self-care, we may be missing the one thing, the only thing that is can actually eliminate the distress: this person needs to exit the environment in which he or she is being abused.

We may keep the symptoms of his or her distress at bay with medical approaches or wellness approaches but if we fail to remove the cause of the distress, we will forever be simply keeping the symptoms at may.

In the same way, we may look around us and be able to see the many ways in which we are simply coping with our distress without ever addressing the cause of the distress which may be a family system, a schooling system, a workplace system.

Very much like medicine, the legal system often offers us a potential ‘cure’ without every addressing the genesis of the breach.

ADR systems, precisely those that are discursive like Mediation, can help us to co-create systems of care that may help us to eliminate or reduce the extent to which all our current systems manifest great distress and therefore have us normalising inconsequential, at best, and wholly destructive at worst, attempts at cure.

Care over Cure

In peace,

Sheena Jonker

sheena@adr-networksa.co.za

[i] With thanks and apologies to Charles Dickens

[ii] For previous blogs: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THE TIME OF COVID 19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and ADR, HUMAN RIGHTS AND COVID-19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and LOCKDOWN-RELATED DISPUTES AND THE ROLE OF ADR | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za)

[iii] Kenneth Cloke, ‘Politics, Dialogue and the Evolution of Democracy’

[iv] http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/restorative-justice-state-capture-and-corruption/ and

http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/dudu-myeni/

 

Vantage

Vantage

Understood as the point from where we see, the word, ‘Vantage’ can aid us in unpacking the systems in which we are, to a large extent inert non-participants in our own wellbeing.

So, continuing from what we have been unpacking, medicine is largely done to us or for us and not with us. Justice is largely done to us or for us and not with us. Education is largely done to us or for us and not with us. In the same vein, parenting, the workplace, economics and politics are largely done to us or for us and not with us.

Vantage, as the place from which we see, works best the higher we are. The more we rise, the more we see. If I have the advantage, at a rudimentary level, it may mean that I can see more than you and thus may be able to benefit more than you. If I have the disadvantage, at a rudimentary level, it may mean that I am in a lower place than you and can therefore not see what you can see and may not be able to benefit precisely because I cannot see what you can see.

Our systems advantage some (raise some to a higher place where they can see more and benefit more by that expanse of seeing) and disadvantage others (keep them in a place where they can see less and are unable to benefit by that expanse of seeing). These are often artificially crafted vantage positions and the artificiality is most often a product of economic prowess or economic lack. We can be artificially heightened to expansive seeing in ways that help us to gain way more than what we need. We can also be artificially lowered to places of limited seeing in ways that we are unable to meet our basic needs.

Most of our social systems do this: some are artificially ad-vantaged (given a great view) and others are artificially dis-advantaged (lowered into a dark place with no way of seeing what we need to see).

Whilst our systems artificially foster ad-vantage and dis-advantage, we will continue to see in parts. Seeing in parts rather than seeing the whole, hardly ever gets us what we need.

ADR processes like mediation, well-located within restoration and transformation can help us to be empowered agents in systems that affect us and in ways that we can participate in creating what we need.

ADR processes can help to raise us all so that we are each able to see more.

Vantage.

In peace,

Sheena Jonker

sheena@adr-networksa.co.za

[i] With thanks and apologies to Charles Dickens

[ii] For previous blogs: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN THE TIME OF COVID 19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and ADR, HUMAN RIGHTS AND COVID-19 | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za) and LOCKDOWN-RELATED DISPUTES AND THE ROLE OF ADR | ADR Network SA (adr-networksa.co.za)

[iii] Kenneth Cloke, ‘Politics, Dialogue and the Evolution of Democracy’

[iv] http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/restorative-justice-state-capture-and-corruption/ and

http://www.adr-networksa.co.za/dudu-myeni/