The Negotiator Magazine

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We no longer have the mentality of “ducking and covering” to avoid conflict.  Now, you and I have undertaken both the responsibility and the privilege of being peacemakers.  It’s a movement that’s spreading like wildfire.  Children are using those same desks under which they used to “duck and cover” to learn peer mediation in elementary schools.  The Junior High School “bully” is now subject to review by Committees for Conflict Resolution on campuses around the Country.  ADR is being taught in Colleges, and used in government, hospitals, post offices and business.  Law Schools are training their students “negotiation and mediation strategies” alongside “trial techniques”.  They know that many of their students won’t see a trial for ten or more years, but will likely engage in mediation beginning the first year of their practices. The Navy’s mission is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces “capable of winning wars” AND deterring aggression AND maintaining freedom of the seas”.  It is not enough to simply “keep the peace”:  The Navy’s mission, and your mission, and my mission is to “make the peace”.  How?  By treating every member of our unit, or our military, of our churches and synagogues and trainings and homes with dignity, with honor, with respect.   It starts at home, and is well-embraced in divorces, and now within family conflicts.  Simply taking the perspective of those in conflict, considering it respectfully, refusing to judge, but instead to “engage” can make enormous changes in our society, in your Navy and in the world. 

Incidentally, I couldn’t help notice as I traveled by train this morning, how different the Pacific Ocean looks from the train than from the sea, where I usually experience it.  As a sailor, I am on the Pacific Ocean most every weekend:  but today, I saw waves and surfers and sand and parts of the Ocean I never get close to on our sailboat.  Imagine if we took the time to look at the perspectives offered to the men and women of the air force and the Navy.  The world looks different if you are seeing it from a ship, off shore or from a plane high above.

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February 2007