Reconnecting … and Valuing Relationships
Last evening, I attended an Open House at the new offices of two lawyers with whom I worked at least 25 years ago. Despite the new surroundings, I felt right at home again and enjoyed both the memories of the past and the camaraderie of the moment.
The visit began with a warm handshake; in the middle we had good conversation; and when it was time to go, I smiled nearly the whole way home.
Last weekend, my wife and I had dinner with some of my college fraternity brothers and their wives.
Again, the good conversation, the funny moments remembered, and the renewed kinship caused laughter and rekindled our affection for one another throughout the evening.
There is considerable value in having, maintaining and renewing long time relationships.
Having consideration for others; lending a helping hand; enjoying time together, even giving an endearing smile, an admiring glance or an impromptu hug to a loved one; or just having nice thoughts about someone: all these add to that value.
Working through problems together also reinforces the relationship.
It can even restore a relationship severed by those problems.
In mediation, I see relationships gone awry all the time and I understand that they’re complicated.
I also understand that those relationships can be repaired if valued enough.
Yesterday morning, at a meeting I attended, I was describing the value of apology in mediation.
I talked about two long time friends and business partners involved in a business dispute that I mediated.
At the end of the mediation, after they identified that their past relationship was more important to them than their present dispute, the case settled, and, in the closing moments, these two men, with a 60 year shared history, truly reconnected and hugged.
I think they realized, as do I, that life is too short to carry around the burden of disharmony or disaffection.
As AT&T used to say, [it can be helpful/valuable/productive to] “reach out and touch someone,” to be grateful for those relationships and to work on them.
Everyone can feel better as a result.
David I. Karp mediates at the heart of the dispute, principally in real estate and business matters, focusing on core issues while being mindful of the emotional context of the conflict. His website is at http://karpmediation.com . He apologizes for any ads affixed to this post by wordpress.com; they are not his.