Stepping Into 2021

We all make specific resolutions, affirmations, pledge ETC( End of Thinking Capacity), when we step into a NEW YEAR.

2021- Will be unique to all. 

"We all have started valuing what we have rather than craving for what others have".

So, as a passionate mediator like you, I thought if we can collectively think of taking a solemn oath to root in our own conscious first and then be a Facilitators, Harmonizers, Healers, Bridges and many more, to those in the circle of conflicting relationships.

                   "Don't let your lips and your lives preach two different messages."

                                -Facebook.com/wisdom from Islam

PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH?

PREACHING AND PRACTICE—THE GAP OF CONVENIENCE

Jesus told His listeners "you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

Giving Homilies to someone else, which we are not willing or able to follow makes us hypocrites.                              

MEDIATION, an empowering self-discovery process imbibes in us, the invaluable skills of effective communication, teaches tolerance, respect for opposing viewpoints/perspectives, promotes empathetic listening, instils benefits and checkmates of unbiased thinking, importance of condemning the sin than a sinner, stepping into the shoes of the opponent and excludes non-judgmental responses etc., making us a better human being. 100%.

We are bound to safeguard the integrity of the CONCEPT OF MEDIATION IN ITS TRUE VISION.

In the environment of a meaningful growth of Mediation, an Appropriate Door to Resolve and certainly an Appropriate Door to Reform it may be prudent, if every mediator declares his/her allegiance to a Preamble(a Pledge) to the Constitution, a Charter or a Legislation relating to Mediation. 

For this exercise, re-reading preambles of the Constitution of various countries seemed a wise decision.

PREAMBLE defined to be a word that means an introductory statement indicating what is to follow. A statement that sets out guidelines, which guide the people, reflects hopes/aspirations of the people, presents the intention of the framers. 

According to Mr. Nani Ardeshir Palkhivala, Legendary Indian Jurist, who had a deep respect, indeed reverence, for both the Constitution of India and for the cardinal principles he saw embedded in it, said- 

"Preamble is an identity card of Constitution, and it is an introduction to the statue. The Preamble has been called the soul of Constitution by Thakurdas Bhargav."

Let me first start with my country's Preamble.

THE PREAMBLE TO THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION READS:

"WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens JUSTICE, social, economic and political; 

LIBERTY of thought, expressions, belief, faith and worship; 

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation; 

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this 26th day of November 1949, do HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION".

What It Means/Signifies:

WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA- Indicates the ultimate sovereignty of the people of India.

SOVEREIGN signifies supreme and ultimate power.

SOCIALIST attributes to democratic socialism, i.e. achievement of socialist goals through democratic, evolutionary and non-violence. 

SECULAR means equal freedom and respect for all religions.

DEMOCRATIC refers to political, social and economic democracy.

REPUBLIC expresses there's an absence of any privileged class and absence of any discrimination.

JUSTICE stands for rule of law, absence of arbitrariness and a system of equal rights, freedom and opportunities for all in society.

EQUALITY proposes no section of society has any special privileges, and all the people have given equal opportunities for everything without any discrimination. 

LIBERTY refers to the freedom on the activities of citizens in term of what they think, their manner of expressions and the way they wish to follow up their thoughts in action, exercised within the constitutional limits.

FRATERNITY refers to brotherhood and sense of belonging, leaving no room for regionalism, communalism, casteism etc., which hinders the thread of unity.

Likewise the Preamble of Constitution of the various countries, apart from 54 countries (that do not have Preamble in the Constitution), comprises of goals/intent/values such as:

"Sovereignty, Independence, Integrity, Democracy, Rule of Law, Social Justice, Freedom, Equality, Peaceful Relations, Prosperity, Welfare, Pluralism, Humanism, Self-Determination, Brotherhood, Truth, Living In Harmony, Wisdom, Fair Relationship, The Happiness Of The Population, The Gradual Introduction Of Democracy etc".

The UN Charter signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, also echoes a spirit of Peace, Dignity and Equality on a planet. 

Its Preamble affirms a declaration:

"WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED:

  • To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • To promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

AND FOR THESE ENDS:

  • To practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and
  • To unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  • To ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  • To employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples.

The voice and spirit of Mediation is also to LIVE IN HARMONY, LIVE IN PEACE AND NOT IN PIECES.

Friends sharing with you my attempt and intent in this direction to present a possible-

PREAMBLE TO THE CONSTITUTION/CHARTER OF MEDIATION:

"WE THE MEDIATORS, having understood, accepted, and believing in the jurisprudence, philosophy and fundamental principles of Mediation, unconditionally accepting the need to adhere to and observe the highest standards of ethics in the conduct and behaviour in the discharge of responsibilities as a Mediator, and recognizing that Mediators owe a crucial and sensitive duty to the community to render assistance in resolution of conflict and disputes, to ensure peace in society.

Hereby Adopt, Accept, and Give to ourselves this solemn affirmation and pledge, that we shall at all times, without dilution or compromise ensure that the principles hereinafter enunciated shall be strictly adhered to, implemented and applied in every Mediation, that we are assigned to conduct or that we voluntarily agree to conduct.

The power to resolve a dispute and/or decide shall and will entirely vest in the parties in Mediation. 

Mediation is for the parties, by the parties and of the parties.

To secure to all those in the mediation process:

Sovereignty – Parties shall possess the supreme or final power to evolve options for the resolution of their conflicts.

Socialist Secular– Parties shall be facilitated with respect, impartiality, dignity, neutrality, without conflict of interest, non-judgment and confidentiality.

Democratic- Enable parties to exercise choice of self-determination, choose the terms that would govern and bind them in future.

Republic– Mutual Agreement will be elected by the parties. 

Liberty of thoughts, expressions and solutions. 

Equality of status and opportunity to participate, no discrimination on the basis caste, colour, sex, creed, class, language, economic/social position, and religion. 

Fraternity – promoting understanding and respect for each other's perspective, interests, and collaborative approach to reaching an amicable resolution, fostering integrity and unity in the mediation process. 

Justice – Win-Win for all parties.

IN OUR ASSEMBLY OF CONSCIENCE, on this 1st Day of January 2021, do HEREBY ADOPT, AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS SOLEMN AFFIRMATION".

Can this Preamble open the way for a Hippocratic Oath (NOT JUST A HYPOCRISY OATH) for the Mediators to swear?

How many of us adhere to the moral standards in mediation rooms?

How many of us, as mediators or as mediation trainers, apply principles of Mediation in our day to day Life, Relations, and Interactions?

If not? 

Try. It's worth trying.

INTROSPECT

"An Ounce of Practice is worth more than Tons of Preaching."                 

– Mahatma Gandhi

                        author

Pusshp Gupta

Pusshp Gupta is a law graduate from the most prestigious law school of India, Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi and admitted into the Bar in 1994. She did LLM in Commercial Laws. A Mediator at Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi and at District Court of… MORE >

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