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Mediate.com

The Beatles and Mediation

by Luis Miguel Diaz
Luis Miguel Diaz
This article shows the utilization of Beatles songs as a tool for sensitizing participants in mediation. The selected music contains a minimum of references to talents and strategies of thinking, feeling and behaving that may be very appropriate in the preparation and conduct of mediation. It is addressed to both the parties and the mediator.

So, to fully appreciate this article, it should be read to the accompaniment of the songs mentioned (In www.beatleslyrics.com the complete lyrics of the songs).

Popular music may be more effective than traditional explanations and casebook practices to sensitize participants in mediation. Why?

First, really memorable popular songs get that way because they express ideas, sentiments and tell stories that resonate with something universal in the human spirit. In mediation, songs may be used to remind the parties of these universal aspects of our humanity and to evoke feelings, talents and skills that may lead to the resolution of a conflict.

Second, since in mediation the parties, with the facilitation of the mediator, determine the outcome of their dispute, parties and mediator draw upon a wide array of social interaction talents, skills and attitudes that belong to all of us-these skills are part of our common heritage as human beings. That is, in mediation we do not need specialized knowledge that only a few may possess such as astronomy, algebra, law, chemistry, dentistry, mathematics, physics, accounting, engineering, etc.

Third, the lyrics of popular songs, such as the Beatles' songs used here, incorporate this kind of general knowledge and thus, they can be used to facilitate learning and leave a more lasting memory with the participants.

Fourth, although nearly all Beatles' songs concern processes related to love relationships, those processes, for some reason or lack thereof, may also refer to situations that are very common in mediation. So, the reader should think about the processes referred to in the songs and consider their relevance to mediation.

Fifth, for some reason or lack thereof, teaching strategies that employ content or contexts unrelated to the specific subject matter being taught are very effective since avoid direct confrontation with existing prejudices in the specific subject matter.

Sixth, using music in a training course to sensitize mediators may be extremely effective since mediation is an art. Introducing Beatles' songs into mediation training may be more illuminating than just talking about what the parties and the mediator need to know.

Seventh, listening to Beatles' music may also be a pleasant and entertaining way to illustrate possible strategies for facilitating a successful mediation, where the parties settle the conflict in a manner acceptable to all, through communication that changes the parties' perceptions of the conflict.

One necessary aptitude for participants in mediation is to find ways to open up space for solutions to a conflict. Everyone must agree that in any situation with at least two parties, there will always be more than one point of view. To work out a solution, all views must be considered. We can work it out clearly states a golden rule for mutual understanding: avoid authoritarian positions and dogmatisms.

Try to see it my way,
do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on?
While you see it your way,
run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone.
We can work it out,
we can work it out.
Think of what you're saying,
you can get it wrong and still you think that it's alright.
Think of what I'm saying,
we can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.
We can work it out,
we can work it out.
Life is very short, and there's no time,
for fussing and fighting my friend.
I have always thought, that it's a crime,
so I will ask you, once, again.
Try to see it my way,
only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way,
there's a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
we can work it out.

It is impossible to be another person but at least it is advisable to try to see another's perspective on the conflict. It is generally better to ask, rather than to try to guess what is going on with the other parties. The song Ask me why emphasizes this basic rule of communication: ask. I love you, 'cause you tell me things I want to know.
And it's true that it really only goes to show,
That I know, That I, I, I, I should never, never, never be blue.
Now you're mine, my happiness still makes me cry.
And in time, you'll understand the reason why,
If I cry, It's not because I'm sad, but you're the only love that I've ever had.
I can't believe it's happened to me I can't conceive of any more misery.
Ask me why, I'll say I love you, And I'm always thinking of you.
I love you, 'cause you tell me things I want to know.
And it's true that it really only goes to show, That I know,
That I, I, I, I should never, never, never be blue.

Judges and arbitrators rely on the use of legal force to resolve conflicts. In contrast, those involved in mediation (both parties and mediator) depend exclusively on language as their tool to facilitate change. Mastery in the use of verbal and non-verbal languages is the most powerful tool in mediation. Julia expresses, in very simple terms, the importance and meaning of words as well as the non-importance and meaningless of words.

Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia
Julia, Julia, ocean child, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Julia, seashell eyes, windy smile, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Her hair of floating sky is shimmering, glimmering,
In the sun
Julia, Julia, morning moon, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
When I cannot sing my heart
I can only speak my mind, Julia
Julia, sleeping sand, silent cloud, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Hum hum hum hum...calls me
So I sing a song of love for Julia, Julia, Julia

The three following songs contain a similar message: working together as a team accomplishes more than working in isolation. All together now is an anthem of team work. In mediation, a third party cannot impose a solution. Thus, the solution must come from all participants working as one. Successful mediation can only be accomplished when all participants work together as a team to resolve the conflict.

One, two, three, four
Can I have a little more?
five, six, seven eight nine ten I love you.
A, B, C, D
Can I bring my friend to tea?
E, F, G H I J I love you.
Sail the ship, Jump the tree
Skip the rope, Look at me
All together now....
All together now....
All together now....
All together now....


In the same vein, a sense of interdependence must exist among the parties and the mediator in order to reach a satisfactory solution. Help teaches a lesson of humbleness, of accepting the need for specific help for a given outcome. It negates self-importance and isolation.

Help, I need somebody, help, not just anybody,
help, you know I need someone, help.
When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down,
and I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
won't you please, please, help me.
And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
my independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down,
and I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
won't you please, please, help me…

The same message, that parties and mediators should be friends and work jointly is expressed in With a little help from my friends.

What would you think if I sang out of tune,
would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song,
and I'll try not to sing out of key.
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends.
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends.
What do I do when my love is away?
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
How do I feel by the end of the day?
(Are you sad because you're on your own?)
No, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends.
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends.
Do you need anybody?
I need somebody to love.
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love.
Would you believe in a love at first sight?
Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time.
What do you see when you turn out the light?
I can't tell you but I know it's mine.
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends.
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends.
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends.

In A Taste of Honey, the Beatles remind us of a dogma in negotiation practice and literature: kindness and pleasant memories are preferable to hard words or bad memories. A minimum talent for friendliness is required of both mediator and parties to a conflict. Otherwise, the conflict will be "solved" only through arbitration or litigation. While kindness may come more naturally to some than others, anyone should be able to learn how to be kinder.

A taste of honey... tasting much sweeter than wine.

(Doo doot'n'doo)
(Doo doot'n'doo)
I dream of your first kiss, and then,
I feel upon my lips again, a taste of honey!
A taste of honey... tasting much sweeter than wine.
I will return, yes I will return,
I'll come back, for the honey, and you…
(Doo doot'n'doo)
(Doo doot'n'doo)
Yours was the kiss that awoke my heart,
There lingers still, 'though we're far apart,
That taste of honey!
A taste of honey... tasting much sweeter than wine.
I will return, yes I will return,
I'll come back (he'll come back) for the honey (for the honey), and you!

In an amicable and successful mediation, there should not be room for aggression and war. Revolution calls for a genuine change of hearts and minds and deplores destruction and hate.

You say you want a revolution,
well, you know,
we all want to change the world.
You tell me that it's evolution,
well, you know,
we all want to change the world.
But when you talk about destruction,
don't you know you can count me out.
Don't you know it's gonna be alright.
Alright. Alright.
You say you got a real solution,
well, you know,
we'd all love to see the plan.
You ask me for a contribution,
well, you know,
we're doing what we can.
But when you want money for people with minds that hate,
all I can tell you is brother you have to wait.
Don't you know it's gonna be alright.
Alright. Alright.
You say you'll change the constitution,
well, you know,
we all want to change your head.
You tell me it's the institution,
well, you know,
you better free your mind instead…

In Act naturally, one message is that being oneself is better than pretending to be somebody else. This attitude ensures that the parties and the mediator can be the best they can be to express what is best for them.

They're gonna put me in the movie,
They're gonna make a big star out of me.
We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely,
And all I gotta do is act naturally
Well, I'll bet you I'm gonna be a big star,
Might win an Oscar you can never tell.
The movies gonna make me a big star,
'Cause I can play the part so well
Well I hope you'll come and see me in the movies,
Then I know that you will plainly see.
The biggest fool that ever hit the big time,…
There is an old saying that speaks of love moving mountains. In All you need is love, the parties and the mediator are reminded that with love anything is possible. In this context, love in this context represents a universal aspect of humanity that facilitates finding a solution that will be as good as possible for all parties.

Love, love, love. Love, love, love. Love, love, love.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It's easy.
Nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It's easy.
All you need is love. All you need is love.
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need…

Although it may seem that money may resolve all issues in a conflict, we all have needs, ideas and emotions that in a given situation may be stronger than financial interests. Can't buy me love expresses the truism, so frequently forgotten: in many conflicts money may be neither the root cause, nor the solution.

Can't buy me love. Love. Can't buy me love.
I'll buy you a diamond ring my friend, if it makes you feel alright.
I'll get you anything my friend, if it makes you feel alright.
'cause I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love.
I'll give you all I got to give, if you say you love me too.
I may not have a lot to give, but what I got I'll give to you.
I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love.
Can't buy me love, everybody tells me so.
Can't buy me love, no no no, no…

The perception of the mediator as impartial can be essential to earning the trust of the parties. In Nowhere man, the paradox of not having or representing personal opinions is manifested.

He's a real nowhere Man,
sitting in his Nowhere Land,
making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.
Doesn't have a point of view,
knows not where he's going to,
isn't he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere Man, please listen,
you don't know what you're missing,
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.
He's as blind as he can be,
just sees what he wants to see,
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?
Nowhere Man, don't worry,
take your time, don't hurry,
Leave it all till somebody else
lend you a hand.

Sometimes past events carry tremendous weight. In these situations, the parties and the mediators must learn to utilize or re-interpret the past and not to ignore it. Yesterday represents moments where the past seems the best part of our present lives.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they're here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
Suddenly, I'm not half to man I used to be.
There's a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, I yesterday came suddenly.
Why she had to go, I don't know she wouldn't say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.
Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play.
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

The ability to "think outside the box" or to ignore conventional patterns for problem solving may be decisive for both parties and mediators. The wording of Eight days a week shows that positive thinking alone may not be enough. The solution of some conflicts may require thinking the impossible.

Eight days a week, I love you.
Eight days a week, is not enough to show I care.
Ooh I need your love babe, guess you know it's true.
Hope you need my love babe, just like I need you.
Hold me, love me, hold me, love me. Ain't got nothin'but love babe,
eight days a week.
Eight days a week, I love you.
Eight days a week, is not enough to show I care...

The parties and the mediator may need to be clear about their limits and boundaries. This may contradict the idea of complete freedom of mind to facilitate change, but this attitude may not always be the best. You can't do refers to limits.

I got something to say that might cause you pain,
If I catch you talking to that boy again,
I'm gonna let you down,
And leave you flat,
Because I told you before, oh,
You can't do that.
Well, it's the second time, I've caught you talking to him,
Do I have to tell you one more time, I think it's a sin,
I think I'll let you down.
Let you down and leave you flat,
Gonna let you down and leave you flat,
Because I've told you before, oh,
You can't do that.
Everybody's green,
'cause I'm the one, who won your love,
But if they'd seen,
You're talking that way they'd laugh in my face.
So please listen to me, if you wanna stay mine,
I can't help my feelings, I'll go out of my mind.
I'm gonna let you down,
And leave you flat,

Parties and mediator may discuss legal commitments and fundamental values, but they also may need to deal with mundane details such as the time and features of the context where their meetings or conferences will take place. Lady Madonna reminds us that details may be as fundamental as great ideals to make ends meet.

Lady Madonna, children at your feet.
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.
Who finds the money? When you pay the rent?
Did you think that money was heaven sent?
Friday night arrives without a suitcase.
Sunday morning creep in like a nun.
Monday's child has learned to tie his bootlace.
See how they run.
Lady Madonna, baby at your breast.
Wonder how you manage to feed the rest.
See how they run.
Lady Madonna, lying on the bed,
Listen to the music playing in your head.
Tuesday afternoon is never ending.
Wednesday morning papers didn't come.
Thursday night you stockings needed mending.
See how they run.
Lady Madonna, children at your feet.
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.

Finally, mediation requires confronting the existing reality perceptions of all involved. Parties and mediators should develop their abilities to express their willingness to accept others. Let it be is an anthem that embodies the importance of respect for others. When I find myself in times of trouble,
mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness,
she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people,
living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer, let it be.

mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness,
she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people,
living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer, let it be.

Biography


Luis Miguel Díaz, unfortunately now deceased, fathered four children and distrusted language, theories and authority, including his own as a father. Admires artists and scientists and their lives. He received his Law Degree at UNAM, Mexico (1974); and LLM (1976) and SJD (1986) at Harvard University Law School. President of the Interdisciplinary Center for Conflict Management in Mexico City. Author of more than 100 articles and 15 books. We all miss Luis.

 



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Website: www.solucionegociada.com

Additional articles by Luis Miguel Diaz

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