No Easy Answers, only more Questions

Lets talk about Lady Justice. Her scales date back to the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: Anubis weighs a Decedent's heart against the Feather of Truth to determine whether to grant passage to the afterlife. Blind-folded, but with a powerful, raised sword in her left hand, she greeted me every morning on my way to court.  As litigators we present one version of the case, our story, and attempt to discredit the other side’s story.  As mediators we strive to balance the stories by digging for shared interests beneath positions.  And then there are days, where we struggle to define justice all together.

When discussing the art of the question, negotiation and finding a compromise, mediation is an art.  Its designs do not speak to everyone. Those of us with a pragmatic and factual approach discover that it is not always about the nail. Others of us who attempt to talk about feelings may find themselves on the other end of the spectrum: “Don’t talk to me about feelings. You have no idea how I am feeling!”  

Mediators can learn and practice the art, but the process remains a balancing act.  Where does that leave us? Like everything else in life, we discover there are no easy answers, only more questions.  Some things cannot be explained, some things are difficult to understand, if one can understand at all, and some things cannot be taught.

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