Since choosing to leave a 25-year litigation practice by starting a mediation career six years ago, I have spilled thousands of digital words and spoken to, trained and lectured thousands of men and women about the folly of zero-sum games.
I have identified the culprits who instilled in us our knee-jerk win-lose reaction to conflict (mom, dad, Milton Bradley, Candyland!) and have favorably compared the choices between collaborative interest-based negotiation, mediation and international diplomacy, on the one hand, and dog fights, litigation, and war on the other, to the differences between bloodletting and leeches to vaccines, penicillin and anti-retroviral therapy.
If only I had Jon Stewart’s script writers, I might have been able to stop my endless harping on these matters and simply told my friends, neighbors, family, community, state and nation, to watch this Salon.com clip of The Daily Show on winners and losers in the recent violent confrontation about the Gaza Strip.
A few of my friends found this statement, during the hostilities, to be traitorous to our national interest in the continued existence Israel – we choose sides – and decide which one is evil – when we choose where to start telling the conflict story.
The Daily Show chooses the dawn of man, from 2001, A Space Odyssey.
I’d stop writing about this, speaking, teaching, lecturing, coaching, consulting, but I cannot.
by Victoria Pynchon