Sunday, April 8, 2007

Pondering The Third Side

I'm proud to have been invited to present a talk at the upcoming ABA Dispute Resolution Section Convention in Washington, D.C. "ADR in Bloom". Our talk is on "The Power of the Mediator" and my part of it has as it's premise lessons drawn from William Ury's "The Third Side". As I'm preparing the presentation, I've also somehow instinctively also acquired two new addresses for my mediation hearings: one in Century City and the other (through the Southern California Mediation Association) in Pasadena. So here's what I've concluded: The Mediator serves a valuable role if and when she goes out to the community to spread peace. Growing up in Los Angeles, I well remember the Watt's riots in the 60's and the fires and looting that followed the Rodney King incident in the 90's. Fire and violence, anger and unrest spread rapidly. It's time for us to light the torch for peace. Even as a geometric principal, by disputants coming to "my office", they leave their own offices, which are typically "war zones" and come to mine...which has sweets and calming artwork, light oak furniture and a Mezuzah on the door. I can now pray that "the Third Side" one day will be on every street corner, harking "Peace Now". That will be the day that ADR will fully be blooming. For now, we have global warming on our side...thawing out the Cold War era to who knows what's next?

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