Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR to the Friends I Have, the Friends I Have Lost, and the Friends I Know Not

It it with great anticipation for change in my life and in this nation that I bid adieu to 2013. 

I have lost many whom I thought were real friends simply for the fact that I stand for civility and fairness, for critical thinking and collaboration -- for fact-based principled negotiation. Even those who are very close to me have stopped sharing and liking for fear of being judged negatively simply by association. To the many friends I have lost I wish for you strength, security and peace of mind. I believe people can separate with love and not hate. I am grateful for the parts of my life our relationships have afforded to my being as a whole. For me personally, I remind myself I am a child of God -- no better or worse than every other child of God. My "playing small does not serve the world." To quote Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This year has been a dark year in that we as a nation are distracted, deceived and divided. Divide and Conquer: A way of keeping a position of power by making the people disagree with each other so that they are unable to join together and remove you from your position. A small minority have continued to govern by a policy of divide and conquer and it continues on today. This strategy is how a small fringe group of criminal elitists and oligarchs (who control everything we read, see, or hear) continue to maintain power and control over this slave population. We will continue to be a slave population because of our purely emotional rather than logical reactions that create division, incivility, fear, and ultimately hate. This age old technique works and is being played out like a game of chess and we are the pawns. It's the "how" and the "why" we are not coming together and uniting against this small group of criminals and their minions who carry out their game of political and religious ideological BS. We must rid this nation of such division and learn tolerance of and appreciation for -- not fear of -- that which is different.

In everything you see and hear, believe or act upon 1) check the facts, 2) trust your own intuition, 3) use your own reason, 4) make your own decision and 5) give merit to another's stand -- even if it differs from yours.

Fisher and Ury describe distribute/competitive as “positional” negotiation and integrative/collaborative as “principled” negotiation. Consider the focus of negotiation, associated behaviors, and effects on dis/agreements.

We have most unfortunately taken our cues from Congress -- the worst Congress in this nation's history. We need less Distributive Negotiation (Positional; Zero-sum) because parties perceive their goals as mutually exclusive or in competition with those of their counterparts.
Parties are Adversaries
Victory is the Goal
Parties Demand Concessions as a Condition of the Relationship
Parties are Hard on People
Distrust Abounds
Entrenchment, Threats, and Deception are Key Tactics
Argument and Debate
Extreme Demands
Grudging Concessions
Unwillingness to Listen
Positional Statements
Contentious Tactics
Produces Unwise Agreements
Endangers Ongoing Relationships

This country needs healing. We as a nation of families, friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters known and unknown need more Integrative Negotiation (Principled; Win-win) where goals are viewed as compatible. Problem solving is seen as a way to achieve win/win solutions. Also known as Collaborative, Win/Win, or Principled Negotiation, this practice focuses on interests; participants are problem solvers; the goals is a wise outcome and solid relationship. In Principled (or Win-win bargaining)
Separate the People from the Problem
Focus on Interests, Not Positions
Invent Options for Mutual Gain
Insist on Using Objective Criteria
Open Sharing of Information
Willingness to Trust Others
Tradeoffs of Valued Positions
Interest-Based Discussion
Mutual Goals
Problem Solving
Relationship Building
Parties are Hard on the Problem -- not the people

I see beauty in this world. I see good in all, even in the bad, as there is always a lesson to be learned. All too often we know "entertainment" in this life but do we know true "joy." I will risk saying that most in this world do not know true joy. Joy comes with the delight in every breath, in every smile, in every glance, in every silent moment of reflection -- on the good and the bad. True joy is a gift.

JOY joi/ noun
A feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Example, "tears of joy"
synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture; enjoyment, felicity, joie de vivre, "whoops of joy" pleasure, source of pleasure, delight, treat, thrill "it was a joy to be with her"

We all experience pain in our lives -- no doubt. Remember, however, pain is not a choice but suffering is. Let's make a choice to be happy, be mindful, be joy-filled, be kind, be loving, be open to that which is different, be smart, be compassionate, be patient (one I have to work on for many moons to come), be understanding, be accountable, be responsible, be fun, be happy, be compassionate, be blessed, be Godly, and at the end of the day -- just BE. It doesn't matter what you do -- it matters who you are. God created us as human BEINGS not human doings.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to the friends I have, the friends I have lost, and the friends I know not. May we all make 2014 meaningful and memorable.

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014!