Thank you, all you parties who said yes to mediation. Thank you for having the courage to try something new, for having hope for a better future. Thank you for believing that mediation could hardly make things worse, and might make things much better.
When someone suggested mediation, you didn’t say no because your desire to punish the other was greater than your hope for resolution. You agreed, even though you were doubtful and anxious. And when the day of the mediation arrived there you were: a little shaky, a little defensive, but you showed up.
You’re heroic. You’re one in a hundred, one in a thousand. Not because you had a conflict – that’s easy, there’s no credit in that – but because you wanted to do something constructive, to take an active part in getting yourself a less stressful life.
It takes guts to agree to mediate. It takes guts to face the person you blame for your churning stomach and dry mouth, for your sleepless nights and inability to concentrate. It takes faith in other people, to sit in a room with someone you fear is out to get you.
I watch you in a mediation and I’m in awe. In awe at the tough emotional and psychological work you do. The way you try to understand what seems incomprehensible. The way you find ways to express yourself so that you can be heard. The creativity and energy you put into finding solutions is humbling.
So here’s to you in this season of medals and personal bests. Here’s to you achieving your personal best self, here’s a gold medal for your compassion and forgiveness, your understanding and insight. And here’s to your future, not without conflict but with a new way of resolving it.
You’re why mediation matters and why mediation exists. It’s people like you who keep my faith in humanity. So thank you, each and every one of you, who came, who talked, and who concurred.