Sunday, May 22, 2011
Once in awhile, we all need to take a break from our day jobs to tend to our life's real work. For me, last week's Commencement from Columbia University, and this euphoric image of our youngest son becoming a College Graduate have fulfilled my life's true purpose. The insight for mediation and client's of mediation? Have some perspective. Most of the time the business disputes and litigation we're engaged in pales by comparison to what's really important in life: the health, success and dreams of our children. The Commencement speaker, President Bollinger, spoke of "The Butterfly Effect" and how butterflies flapping their wings independently can affect the environment worldwide. These young graduates, acting in their own communities, countries, businesses and professions, will undoubtedly change the world in which all of us live. I'm proud to have raised three responsible, college educated, decent, smart adults. I'm trusting them to make my world a better place. Judging from the past 27 years, I have complete faith and confidence that they'll do a great job at it!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
There's some debate about whether great mediators are born or made. I say that those of us lucky enough to have Mom's as mediation trainers provide a great model for sound mediation principles. My Mom, Bette, taught me these principles which have guided and eased not only my parenting, but some good instincts which serve me well professionally, too. Here are a few: 1) Be patient. 2) Not all of your wishes will come true. Choose those that are really important to you, and give in on those that aren't. 3) Life is about compromise. You can't win "em all! 4) You are the best and the smartest and the prettiest. But you don't have to tell people that to earn their love or approval. 5) Always be respectful. 6) Develop a curiosity about people. There is something good or interesting in everyone you meet. 7) Creativity counts more than smarts. 8) Put yourself out. People will appreciate it. 9) You get out of life what you put into it. 10) Strive to be fair. If you are fair to others, they will be fair to you. 11) Watch what you eat and take care of your health. That's the only body you'll get. 12) There's a time to speak and a time to remain silent. Sometimes people just need to be listened to. 13) If you really want something, persevere. You'll get it or something else will come along. 14) Be open to new challenges and adventures. 15) Nobody can take away your self esteem but you. Stand up straight! 16) Put value in the stuff that you can't buy: love of family, friends and your good health. The rest doesn't matter.
On this Mother's Day, I appreciate these lessons and want to say "Thanks Mom" and to all of the Mom's who have spent a lifetime teaching by their example in ways that promote peace.