conflict mediation Uncategorized

so this is why i’m quitting mediation

Here’s a picture for you:

You’ve had enough. It’s time for a re-think. Time to put things into perspective. You’re stressed out your box with this conflict, and don’t know where to turn. You know that if things continue to go south, the ball’s gonna burst and you could end up with gold-plated lawyers involved, or worse, arguing over a paper-strewn oak table in court. You don’t want that. You’ve enough on your plate. You just want to put this nonsense behind you and get on with things, right?

And then some bright spark hits you with: hey chill out, have you tried mediation?

Mediation? Say what now? Talking ain’t worked up to now, but here you are suggesting, what, more talking?!!

And there’s the thing.

The burning message about mediation is that it’s built on the premise that you want to be empowered to take control of your conflict, that a highly-skilled mediator could help you develop your conflict into a constructive conversation, that in the middle of your hectic maelstrom of a life, what you definitely don’t need is some stranger ripping up your diary and your bank balance and, before you know it, taking resolution of your conflict well and truly out of your own hands.

But when you’ve tried and failed already to knock some sense into the conflict, why on earth would you even consider sitting down again with this total #-%££@!, when there’s an established civil justice system lying right there, just a form or two away, that can take all that strain off your shoulders and sort it out for you?

so this is why i’m quitting mediation

Time and time again I come across mediators, experienced or not, who slam blindly and continuously into the notion that this supposedly magical and self-empowering thing that they do is the answer to everything, that this kind of empathetic, collaborative discussion will often help to resolve conflict in the short and long term. This, in the face of all the festering swamps of evidence that say otherwise, that tell us over and over again that, actually, the world bloomin well loves conflict, that we absolutely thrive on it, that every day we seek it out, nurture it, use it to divide and conquer, to progress our collective or individual ideals. Every. Single. Day.

Every single one of us. Nations, governments, armies, corporations, religions, families, men, women, children, people people people…

You think talking works to end conflict? Well, maybe the world doesn’t want conflict to end. Ever think of that? I mean, we all talk about peace, “let’s sort it out”, “make peace not war”, “talk don’t tank”, but then, with our actions we negate the authenticity of those statements. I mean, we’ve spent less than 10% of recorded history making peace instead of war, right? We are but the products of our world. With our family who we know and with strangers that we don’t, every single day we push and we pull and we fight and win and lose and learn from our mistakes and we make them over and over again. Every. Single. Day.

You don’t want to end your conflict, because deep down you don’t want peace. Am I close?

so this is why i’m quitting mediation

If you really wanted peace, you’d have sorted things out lo-oooooong before now. Or this very moment, you’d be sitting on a plane pointed towards a beach with all this crap behind you. Is that what you believe?

But here you are, riddled with conflict. And here I am, a mediator. You need to know right now that if you ever walk into my room, you don’t have to be here. You have a choice. You could take yourself right down the road to that fancy court building and give it your best shot. But if you sit here with me, in this room, beside this dude or dudette you’ve been arguing with, and if you tell me you wanna give mediation a genuine try, I can’t help it, but it’s in my bones to believe you.

I’ll believe you even though I know that deep down, despite what you say, your brain is searching for the easy way out of the conflict, that at every turn and often without you realising, it’s been creating for you a self-preserving reality in this conflict that has no bearing whatsoever on the truth, that it’s being doing this by scooshing you down the well-myelinated neural pathways tangled up in your limbic system that lead you each second, without fail, towards what then appears to you through habit as the best and only option.

In short, if you walk into my mediation room and tell me you want peace, I have a decent inkling that your brain thinks otherwise, that if it wasn’t for your brain and that of your enemy, the conflict could’ve ended yonks ago.

so this is why i’m quitting mediation

But don’t get me wrong, I want to believe you. I really do. If you tell me that you want to prove your brain wrong, that you’re willing to take the hard path out of conflict, to open yourself up to vulnerability and to reach out and understand, truly understand what it is about this conflict that’s been getting your goat, then you’ll be bucking a huge global trend. You’ll be defying history. You’ll be doing what world leaders are too petrified to do, what indoctrinated followers of religion don’t think bears relevance, what you know in your heart makes perfect sense despite the ravenous jaws of conflict bearing down on you.

For that reason alone, I’ll be there for you. Every. Single. Day. Although I know exactly what you’ll be fighting against if you’re brave enough and willing, I’m up for trying collaboration if you are.

Sound good?

OK then yeah, maybe I’ve been misleading you a little here. Sorry about that. Let me finish this sentence then, the one I’ve trying to get out before I rudely interrupted myself:

so this is why i’m quitting mediation when the world stops spinning!