Sunday, June 8, 2008

Good Advice From the Next Generation

A friend of mine sent me a Commencement address given by Journalist, Samantha Power, this year in Claremont , Ca. (I'm an alumna of Pomona College, although this one was at our sister College, Pitzer). I found it particularly compelling. I attach the website here:

What does this have to do with Mediation? The part I loved was about taking time for silence. It is so true that this generation is more interconnected than any before. They have the capability and technology to be in constant communication with one another. And yet, is anyone giving them the advice of the value of taking a few minutes alone? Do any of them listen to their inner voice? Has the Ipod, the Blackberry, Face Book and text messaging supplanted the need for interaction and introspection?

I attended a funeral today where the Rabbi spoke of a concert where Itzhak Perlman broke a string on his violin. Apparently, rather than struggling with the leg braces and crutches he had just removed in order to walk off stage and replace the string, he performed the entire concert on just 3 strings. When asked how he'd accomplished this, and why, his answer was simple: "I'm a musician", he said, "We make music where nothing was there before". My synthesis of these two stories leads me to the conclusion that both participants and mediators can greatly benefit from taking a few key moments during the course of a difficult hearing to themselves. Some quiet, self reflection can unlock the inner yearnings both driving the conflict and blocking it from being resolved.

Next time you feel stuck, try taking a time out by yourself and see!

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