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Leaving The Narrows

by Jan Frankel Schau

From Jan Schau's blog.

Jan Frankel Schau


Last night we celebrated the beginning of Passover. During the Seder, we recall the story of Exodus--as the Jews fled Egypt, (where they were slaves) and travelled for 40 years, carrying journey bread, or Matzoh on their backs, until they reached what is now "Israel"--the land of milk and honey. The Hebrew word for Egypt is "Mizrayim" which is also the word for narrow places (loosely translated, I think). And so I considered all of the ways in which parties in conflict are in their own "narrows"--with walls to the left and to the right and only a glimmer of light between them. The challenge for the mediator is to guide the parties out of their personal narrow places and into a new state. It is the guidance from slavery or tyranny or debt to sweetness and hopefulness and freedom. With freedom, of course, comes a heavy responsibility. It is our challenge to inspire parties caught between only two choices (as in slave holders or slaves) to freedom fighters who, by their own might and imagination dare to visualize a different future and take that chance to achieve it. There are so many profound messages in the Passover story, but for now I wish to merely challenge my readers to dare to imagine a different choice than the obvious. Only then can we hope to transcend our own narrow places!

Biography


Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.

Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.



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Website: www.schaumediation.com

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