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Settle It Now’s Newstex Syndication, Blawgreview 245, Charonqc, Marlon Brandon, Sacheen Littlefeather And Conflict As Your Zen Master

I find many of my law blogging friends over at Newstex.  Now I’ve joined them here.

It used to seem odd to me that companies would bundle free blogs and that people would pay for the bundle.  With the advent of LawBox, the iPhone application that bundles federal and state codes along with law blog and law news content, I get it.  Not everyone’s a BlawgReview Sherpa, paging through a news reader containing literally thousands of law blog posts every week for their possible inclusion in BlawgReview.  A pre-selected group of law blogs, usefully organized by category (mine is there under ADR) is well worth the money (only the State code materials requirement payment; the federal laws and blogs are free).

But allow me to disgress here to say BlawgReview #245 is brilliant and readable and funny, as we Blawg Review followers would naturally expect from the enviably multi-talented CharonQC.  In CharonQC’s honor, he who has withdrawn his name from contention for the (admittedly King of the Anthill race for) Best Blawg Review of the Year (candidates here) we give you Sacheen Littlefeather, announcing Brando’s rejection of the Best Actor Oscar (YouTube Video here).  Ms. Sacheen sent the Academy Brando’s “regrets” by denouncing America’s mistreatment of Native Americans on and off the screen. And here’s Dustin Hoffman’s eloquent 1980 speech (again, on YouTube) accepting the Oscar with “mixed feelings” for the extremely good reasons he mentions:  it’s not the competition, it’s the art.

The sixties.  They literally bled into the early ’70s.  You really had to be there.

Below, Brando congratulating CharonQC for standing on his principles.

Hey!  It’s a New Year.  Let’s all resolve to make it as fun as it is productive and even half as generous as it is empire-building (or protecting).  The Brits have a little to teach us about the loss of world hegemony so put CharonQC on your news reader to help you mourn America’s status as a Super Power (an honorific I’m happy to pass along to some other freedom-loving country willing to play policeman to the world).

We’d all do well to adopt the Brits’ mordant sense of humor; their ability to soldier on under the worse circumstances; and, their willingness to bear the burdens of universal health care.

What does all this have to do with conflict resolution?  As the final chapter in the ABCs of Conflict Resolution (due out this Spring from Janis Publications) explains, Conflict is Our Zen Master?

Why?  Because, as Ken Cloke observes in my interview with him about mindfulness and commercial mediation over at,

every conflict we experience in our lives occurs at the intersection, or crossroads, between problems we now need to solve in order to grow, and skills we do not yet possess. So, for example, there are no two year olds who experience conflicts over romantic love, because romance is not yet on their agenda, and there are no ninety year olds who have conflicts over who gets to play with the blocks. With each level of growth and development, we experience fresh conflicts and at the same time transcend old conflicts that we not only successfully resolve, but develop the skills to move beyond. Helping people experience transcendence and evolve to higher levels of conflict and resolution is what I mean by the capacity of this field to do something really miraculous, something that is beautiful, but has an underpinning of logic and rigor.

In other words, conflict arrives on our door only when we need to learn something new and to challenge ourselves to learn a new set of conflict resolution skills, or to take a new point of view, that will move us past our current distress and into a higher level of conflict that befits the maturity we’ve achieved so far.  In that, conflict is our Zen Master.  I know.  Every time I complain about my husband to my best (Buddhist) friend, she says, “remember, Steve’s your Zen Master,” and I remember that my present distress has something to teach me about my ability to love, accept, forgive or transform before I will be able to move on to a greater level of compassion, skill, understanding, meaning and, yes, love.

That’s my stream of consciousness this morning.  Happy new year to all!


Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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