Every day in CYS mediations, young people find thoughtful ways to repair harms they’ve caused. Often, the road to reconciliation between a person harming and a person harmed begins with a letter of apology. This year, Monday, December 7, is National Letter Writing Day, and with reconciliation as our theme, we invite you and your friends and family to take part in our favorite “restorative practice.” Beginning today and culminating on Dec 7, you are invited to join with the entire CYS family in writing a brief, personal Letter of Apology and Reconciliation to a friend, neighbor, colleague, or loved one. The challenge will be familiar to everyone who has ever made a mistake. The CYS event — and the forum for sharing — is what’s new! Event details will be coming soon by email. For now, we invite you to consider the power and beauty of apology and reconciliation in all your relations; to turn your thoughts courageously to whatever mistake or misgiving is on your mind, and review the following steps:
Consider something you’d like to make right with a friend, neighbor, colleague, or loved one.
Consider the “why” of your action, and try to shine an honest light on what motivated it.
Identify what you would do differently next time, trying your best not to place a burden or expectation on the person you’re reaching out to.
Remember: forgiveness is their business.
When CYS sends your formal invitation, be ready to open your heart, your notepad or laptop, to write, send, and share your heartfelt apology. You’ll also be invited to post your redacted letter on our website, and to share a comment about the difference it made to you! Please keep an eye out for your personal invitation. At a time when healing and reconciliation are foremost on our minds, join us in experiencing the same learning and healing enjoyed by young participants in CYS’s restorative justice programs!