No Mediator Needed Here

Most people have probaby seen this type of conflict -- but maybe not this ending:

The speaker at a recent event was attempting to be heard over a noisy dinner-time audience -- and the din kept growing louder and louder. Finally, one frustrated listener at my table pleaded with those nearby to quiet down. A woman seated at another table took this plea as a direct personal assault, and barked back with the greatest of intensity: "I'm not talkng! You should mind your own business!" The first lady who had asked for quiet now simply shrugged her shoulders and said: "I have known her many years; this is how it is." And she left the matter alone.

As any mediator would, I raced to process the situation: what exactly had happened? Why the sudden clash between these two ladies? What could be done?

Then about 10 minutes later an equally startling event occurred: the woman who had fired back in fury at the questioning of her behavior now came over to the pleader, wrapped her arms around her, and -- with the biggest, warmest smile -- said: "I'm sorry! I know you didn't mean offense." Her apology immediately accepted, everyone continued with their evening.

What is the moral? Sometimes the turning point of change can come straight from within us, when we recognize where we fell short, and correct our actions. No help from others needed!

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Joshua de Sola Mendes