Fisher Mediation
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Conflict Wisdom

Five central American presidents participated in efforts to end the civil war in Nicaragua. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his successful efforts, was asked at the beginning of the effort whether it had a chance to succeed. His response was, “I don’t know, but dialogue can be miraculous.”

“A trial is not a search for truth. It is a contest, and often, one that produces no winners.” Andrew Vachss

“Whenever I’m confronted by a choice between two evils, I always choose the one I haven’t tried before.” Mae West

“Problems are not predominantly solved by rational analysis and reasonable discourse.” Robert Benjamin

“Our ‘opponents’ are our co-creators, for they have something to give which we have not. The basis of all cooperative activity is integrated diversity . . .What people often mean by getting rid of conflict is getting rid of diversity, and it is of the utmost importance that these should not be considered the same. We may wish to abolish conflict, but we cannot get rid of diversity. We must face life as it is and understand that diversity is its most essential feature . . . Fear of difference is dread of life itself. It is possible to conceive conflict as not necessarily a wasteful outbreak of incompatibilities, but a normal process by which socially valuable differences register themselves for the enrichment of all concerned.” Mary Parker Follett (Excerpted from Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith’s The Art of Waking People Up: Cultivating Awareness and Authenticity at Work, Jossey Bass/Wiley, 2003)

“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.” Woody Allen

“Give, give, give. You can’t just take. If you take, take, take, you will lose, lose, lose.” Don Asher

“In complete darkness we are all the same. It is only our knowledge and wisdom that separate us. Don’t let your eyes deceive you. . .” Janet Jackson

“Our wisdom comes from our experience, and our experience comes from our foolishness.” Sacha Guitry

“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” Omar Bradley

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” Confucius

“It is not the rich man you should properly call happy, but him who knows how to use with wisdom the blessings of the gods, to endure hard poverty, and who fears dishonor worse than death, and is not afraid to die for cherished friends or fatherland.” Horace

“The people you have to lie to own you. The things you have to lie about own you. When your children see you owned, then they are not your children anymore, they are the children of what owns you. If money owns you, they are the children of money. If your need for pretense and illusion owns you, they are the children of pretense and illusion. If your fear of loneliness owns you, they are the children of loneliness. If your fear of the truth owns you, they are the children of the fear of truth. ” Michael Ventura, quoted from Mediating Dangerously, The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution, Kenneth Cloke.

“Whosoever loveth wisdom is righteous, but he that keepeth company with fowl is weird.” Woody Allen

“Force without wisdom falls of its own weight.” Horace

“At the end of the day, we’re all buried in the same ground, and we have to find a way to live together.” N.Y. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” Mahatma Gandhi

“It is in the times of difficulties you need to work harder to find peace.” Kofi Annan

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take us or spare us.” Marcel Proust

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” William Shakespeare

“Don’t believe everything you think.” Anonymous

“The entire legal profession — lawyers, judges, law teachers — has become so mesmerized with the stimulation of the courtroom contest that we tend to forget that we ought to be Healers of Conflicts. For many claims, trials by adversarial contest must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle & blood . . . Our system is too costly, too painful, too destructive, too inefficient for a truly civilized people.” Chief Justice Warren Burger, 1984 State of the Judiciary Address

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” Isaac Asimov

“Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace.” Amelia Earhart

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” Malcolm X

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.” Abraham Lincoln

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” John Muir

“Living apart and at peace with myself, I came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even through the motives by the highest, from tampering with another’s way of life – so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit. Hands off!” Henry Miller

“War is not its own end, except in some catastrophic slide into absolute damnation. It’s peace that’s wanted. Some better peace than the one you started with.” Lois McMaster Bujold

“No one would be foolish enough to choose war over peace — in peace sons bury their fathers, but in war fathers bury their sons.” Croesus of Lydia

“One of the most basic principles for making and keeping peace within and between nations . . . is that in political, military, moral, and spiritual confrontations, there should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat.” Jimmy Carter

“The integrity of compromise.” Abraham Ribicoff

“Peace may cost as much as war, but it is a better buy.” Author unknown.

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein

“The more you sweat during peace, the less you bleed during war.” Brian Wilson

“The true objective of war is peace” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” Baruch Spinoza

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” Moshe Dayan

“First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” Thomas Kempis

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Jimi Hendrix

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

After pondering so much wisdom, there has to be a reward in addition to mental stimulation and perhaps some comfort, something truly sweet. What’s more important than questions like “What is the meaning of life?” and “Who am I?” How about “Where Are The Cookies?