The restorative justice talking piece: Tangible and physical, abstract and soulful.
Jun 28, 2010
I used the above quote on a little pamphlet I made for student leaders. Yesterday I pulled it out to add the quote to a powerpoint I was working on. The evening before I was in a really powerful transformative Circle. As I looked at the quote again I realized how powerful the talking piece really is.
It’s a core element of a Circle, with a capital C, in my opinion. I know we can seat people in a circle facing each other, but Kay Pranis in all three of her books, lists the talking piece as an element of a Restorative Justice Circle.
The ‘talking piece’ is physical as Covey points out. There is also so much that is invisible about a talking piece. The talking piece signifies equality and respect. Everyone will get the opportunity to hold the piece. People are invited to share equally, what a person shares or if they share is at their own discresion. The invitation is extended equally.
Respect is embodied in a talking piece, you have people giving witness to your words when you have it. There is a responsibility an obligation to select wise words. I often call it using our “wisest words”, when we speak from the heart.