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A New Beginning

October 25, 2016

Today is Simchat Torah (meaning “Rejoicing in the Torah”). It is a celebration marking the completion of the annual cycle of reading the Five Books of Moses, ending Deuteronomy and immediately starting Genesis once again.

This reminds me that there are many new beginnings — in life, and also in law.

Certainly, by way of example, childbirth is a new beginning not only for the baby but also for the family.

At the other end of life, there is another new beginning following the death of a loved one, as the survivors grapple with their grief and take hold of their new situations.

You can think of other examples without my listing them.

In law school I took a course in Debtor/Creditor Relations, including Bankruptcy. A central concept of the law of Bankruptcy is “the fresh start.” The debtor has a new beginning when there is a discharge of prior debts and obligations.

In mediation, there can be new beginnings too when people understand and surmount the disputes facing them.

Indeed the management of conflict through a mediated settlement can bring about a great sigh of relief when the dispute ends and people feel that they can get on with their lives.

In fact, mediation celebrates the possibility of a new beginning once the risk, threat, cost, and uncertainty of the conflict have been resolved.

It is remarkable, after the settlement agreement has been signed, when people can say, “I’m glad that’s over; now I can move on” or words to that effect.

I like that part of mediation very much.

***

David I. Karp is a full time independent mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California. His website is at http://karpmediation.com .

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