Good Feeling After A Broken Window

A brief story I can recall and offer for Ask the Workplace Doctors comes from more of a neighborhood context rather than the workplace, but it comes from our work providing community mediation. It took place when a senior citizen who lived alone with her two dogs felt very vulnerable when a group of teens were hanging out around her property and she imagined the worst and thought they were a gang.
She felt especially threatened one day when her garage window was broken with a baseball. She called the police but eventually our non-profit agency and mediation program was made aware of the situation and we were able to bring together (this is years ago pre-covid) the senior citizen and the teen and his father for a mediation.


After some story telling, exchange of perspectives and explanation, it became revealed it was not a gang but rather a group of teens who were a little reckless in where they were playing baseball. The three got to know each other better through the conversation whereas before they had been neighbors but also strangers. 
At the end of the mediation, the senior had an apology, a pledge to have the window paid for and fixed by the teen and his father, and contact information for the future. The teen did not have any charges for property damage and no police contact. It helped reduce tensions on both sides and dissolved the fear the senior was experiencing.