So my intense last-minute focus on this narrative mediation paper has really got me thinking again; at least, thinking about mediation.
While I don’t necessarily agree with all narrative mediation has to say, I do think looking at the world as a series of stories – lacking any one truth to prove – has its benefits. Every person is living in his own narrative; it’s hard to really put it any other way. We’re living our own stories and not one other person can truly grasp that, no matter how much we tell it. But still, we can tell it to an extent and there enters narrative mediation. It’s a process by which participants reexamine their narratives concerning each other in the context of their conflict and rewrite the story so that it holds a positive common future.
Yeah, it sounds a little much. But as I said, there are elements there that problem-solving and transformative approaches lack. That’s what the paper I’m supposed to be writing is about (can I hand in this post?).
Anyway, my original point was this: Reading all the literature about narrative mediation – which really went into depth when discussing methodology – made me see how possible it is for me, personally, to get to that point. You know, the one of being a mediator. It actually made me want to approach all my friends in fights (yeah, there are quite a few) and start practicing (no, I would never actually do that).
I can see myself sitting at the table, talking to participants, focusing on language, the whole thing. Sure, I used to see myself in a lot of places, but I never really believed it. They were fantasies. This could actually work. Of course, it’ll take a lot of work. Not just career-wise, but personally-wise. A mediator will never be absolutely neutral (see above, about narratives) but a mediator does need to be confident, stable and very, very patient.
I’m not dropping everything and enlisting; I think the climb will be slow, steady and solid. For now I can start with the patience. That’ll keep me busy a while.