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


[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